Sunday, June 20, 2010

Her father's daughter

This is Richard Adam Livingston, the man I love, the father of my child:

He has an enormous heart, a ridiculous sense of humor, strong arms, incredible work ethic and unruly facial hair. Five years ago (next month) I stared at him through the glow of a campfire and knew that someday I wanted to marry him and bear his children.

This is our daughter, Morgan Paige Livingston:

She has her father's mischievous grin, his wide hands, his curious nature,  his innate ability to make me laugh until my sides ache and his, well... his everything, really.

(Except those big eyes, those are all mine.)

There have been times that I've felt like this whole parenthood thing is a bit unfair. I was the one with swollen feet and leg cramps. I was the one who experienced the never ending need to pee for nine months. I'm the one who was in labor for 20 hours. I'm the one who had to be stitched up and bled for weeks after delivery. I'm the one who had engorged breasts and cracked and bleeding nipples. Not that she isn't worth dealing with these ailments PLUS A THOUSAND MORE, the point is that I was the one who suffered all the physical pain of bringing her into this world, yet he is the one that she resembles most. Where's the justice in that?

But then there are the times that I watch them wrestling on the living room floor or quietly sitting together on the couch, just father and daughter making beautiful memories. Or the times that he steps outside to move the sprinkler and when he returns, she kicks wildly and squeals with delight as if he's been gone for several days rather than just a few minutes. And the laughs: the deep, unbridled laughs that only he can manage to evoke from her. The laughs that, just like his, are extremely contagious. And there are the tender moments when he thinks I've left the room and he begins singing to her or when he kisses her on the forehead and says "Good night, my Mo" as she drifts off to sleep. It's during times like these that I realize: HIS CONTRIBUTION IS JUST AS SIGNIFICANT, JUST AS CRUCIAL, AS MINE.

He may not have carried her for nine months, but he was there to flex my foot and rub my calf when I got leg cramps. He never once complained about driving to the gas station to get me a chili cheese dog and a Twinkie. He was there to help me climb into the truck when I was too big to pull myself up. He was there, pushing right along with me, during labor. He has always been willing to get out of bed and bring her to me when she cries. He offers to watch her so I can take a bubble bath and catch up on some reading. He'll hold her when she scrapes her knees. He'll open popsicle wrappers and juice cartons for her. He'll take her on daddy-daughter dates. He'll teach her how to drive a stick-shift. He'll be outraged when she gets her heart broken for the first time. He'll be able to teach her things I don't know and he'll be able to provide for her in ways that I can't. We will share the happiness, the heartache, the laughs, the triumphs, the disappointments and the adventures of parenthood, and really, that's what matters.

I think of what my life would be like without him, if he had looked back at me through that glowing campfire and said "I like you and all, but I really don't see this going anywhere". He could have walked out of my life a number of times, he could have given his heart and soul to another woman. But instead, he chose me...he chose us.

So, I suppose there is justice in their likeness, after all. He so deserves it.

Thank you for your contribution, honey. We love you!

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