The first time I remember saying the phrase ‘mom and dad’ I was a teenager. It was in relation to something to do with my sister, a graduation or ceremony of some sort, and I paused as soon as the words came out of my mouth. It sounded odd.
My parents separated when I was 3 years old. Until my sister’s university graduation I don’t think I saw them in a room together talking politely. I do remember coming home from school one day and finding them talking on our front porch. We lived around the corner from him and I guess he had just happened by while she waited for us.
We saw my father a handful of times a year when I was growing up. He travelled constantly for work – still does, often. We didn’t see him regularly until we started going to hockey games together when I was 15. Even though I didn’t see a lot of my father, I was lucky enough to have a great parenting team: My mother and my maternal grandparents. If there is a greater father than my grandfather I haven’t met him.
It was very important to me that my children, should I decide to have any, would have a great dad, and also that they would have great parents. But the fear that I wouldn’t be a good parent made me think twice and three times. Until I met Joe. Joe had always known he wanted a family. He always wanted to be a dad, and I decided I would be okay as a mom with him by my side.
I have a daughter now, and I want her to be the ‘Daddy’s girl’ that I always wanted to be. I can envision a few years from now – they’ll go out sledding or skating and I’ll be at home with the hot chocolate. He will be wrapped around her little finger – even more than he is now and I will love every minute.
I was lucky enough to grow up with my parents together – in fact, they just passed their 39th anniversary and they’re still as in love as they’ve always been. So the whole “mom and dad” thing is as natural to me as anything else.
But what I do remember is how special it could be to have moments with just one of my parents. Especially given that I have two older siblings, I always appreciated special little moments and traditions with one my parents.
So yes, I do look forward to my “Daddy’s girl” moments with our little one; but I’m just as excited for the “Mommy’s girl” moments too.