During this pregnancy I have mainly focused on myself. My feeling toward it, my favorite names, my plans for the future, my being SOSOSOSO.exiTED about starting my Xanax again once I pop this critter out. * I have completely forgotten to consider the feelings of a certain male figure who could just possibly be the father of this child. Travis. My dear sweet puts-up-with-my-shit (and smiles the whole time) Travis. Reading some stories online about 2nd and 3rd time dads it hit me on the head like a ton of bricks. HE IS PROBABLY SCARED SHITLESS. This is, after all, his FIRST child. I mean yes, we do have the boy, but he is only biologically mine, and even though Travis tries to give me a hand in his own awkward way, it isn’t the same.
Don’t get me wrong, he loves my son, even in all of his 5-year-old bratty sticking out my mom’s butt glory. He adores him. However, he did not have the excitement of waiting 9 months for his arrival. He didn’t get to experience that gut wrenching (literally) experience of watching him come into this world and looking into his eyes at THAT moment. He was never able to look at him and thing “I made this.. this is MINE.” But yet he does the day-to-day with him. He does everything that he thinks a dad should do, but I know he doesn’t feel like a dad. Honestly, I doubt I let him feel like a dad. I tend to hoard my youngin’ all to myself.
But this time.. this wonderful moment in our life.. this time it belongs to him. He made this. This is his. WOW. He will soon be in charge of a little PERSON.. a real live person.. and for the next 18 years will make decisions on behalf of this person. The most exciting part is that I know he has never felt true love like he will on the day when our son arrives. At that point everything will change for him. I will fade into the background with the rest of ‘life before’ and the focus will be on the little man, as it should. He will spend the next many years living and breathing for him and only him, and I know this because that is just the kind of guy he is.
I couldn’t be so lucky with #1’s dad. Oh there were the promises that he would be a wonderful dad. There were the long talks about our future together.. the one that never was. Then our son was born, and he had the audacity to have another woman in his life at the time to bring him to the hospital. Man. Still yet, I tried. I forgave and forgave and covered up bruise after bruise until I just had no more fight left in me and I gave up, and he went away for quite some time. During that time I moved on, and if it weren’t for Travis I’m afraid I never would have. I would probably be sitting here now with that man. I would be walking on egg shells to prevent the next big fight all the while trying to convince our son of a love that was never there for us. I am so thankful that things never go as planned.
When I first met Travis I couldn’t stand him. He was annoying, mostly always drunk, and just plain annoying. After awhile I gave in to him literally chasing me around my place of work, which may sound awkward, but if you’ve ever been in a bar in my neck of the woods I assure you, it is not. We became friends. He badgered me about becoming a couple. I didn’t want to. Then one day a lady at work told me she noticed how much he cared about me. I was all like YEAH, but I don’t love HIM. She smiled sweetly and said “Honey, just let him love you.” It wasn’t until then that I realized how good it felt to actually be loved by someone. To have someone who would do anything in the world for you at the spur of a moment. To just know. And feel. I surrendered. I gave up the fight.
After a year or so of what felt to me like friendship I realized that I was happy for the first time. I no longer had to watch what I said. I didn’t have to worry about my son seeing “daddy being mean to mommy.” I didn’t have to worry, period, because all of my worries were taken care of. Or if they couldn’t be completely taken care of he sure did try like hell, and just that made me smile.
Three years later and I’m still here. We struggle, like any couple. Sometimes I think to myself that I could surely be with someone younger/hotter/smarter/whatever, but then I realize that nobody will ever love me like he does. So I sit back, relax, and let him love me. I must add that it only took a little while before I loved him, too!
* I keep telling myself that if labor gets really bad and I need a coping mechanism that I will think happy thoughts about getting my Xanax refill the day I get home from the hospital. Like in a IF I CAN JUSSSSSTTTT MAKE IT THROUGGGGH THISSS I GETZ PILLLLLLLLZ kinda way.