His hair was black, his eyes were green, his biceps were wow, and his brain was smart. I knew that much when I first laid eyes on him in law school. Yes, he was a good catch, although I did not cast my net at first. But the story of the first time we spoke and how we eventually fell in love are for another time. You’re probably thinking that today’s story is about Tom as a father. But it isn’t. The underlying protagonist in today’s tale is me. Me. Me. Me. And about how well I picked a father for my children.

Near the end of our first year in law school, during which time Tom and I had become good friends, we began dating. But it wasn’t until Tom had jumped through flaming hoops to prove himself worthy and I became more serious about each other that he became part of Kristen and Courtney’s lives too. And when he did become part of their lives, he embraced his role as first a friend, and eventually a father, beyond my wildest dreams.

And so there was a wedding . . .

And following the wedding there were pastimes such as helping with homework, coaching basketball teams, dressing up like a Blues Brother to volunteer at the fifth-grade Halloween party, attending dance recitals, watching school plays, listening to Pink or Smash Mouth blaring from the stereo, burying deceased pets in the backyard, waiting up to ensure safe arrivals home from dates, sitting in the stands during volleyball games, cheering at water polo matches, and talking an angry dad out of calling the police when one of our daughters had helped TP his house.

So this man, who was raised with two Neanderthals awesome brothers, went from a testosterone-charged environment filled with sports and crass humor to an estrogen-infused environment filled with tenderness and crass humor. Poor Tom was outnumbered three-to-one. Hence, it might be completely understandable that when I got pregnant, the idea might have crossed Tom’s mind that a boy child would be nice this time around. In fact, I think he may have envisioned days of watching the Superbowl with a little dude by his side, teaching his son to play chess, and watching the little lad breeze through math just like his father.

We decided that we wanted to know the gender of the baby ahead of time so that the control freak baby inside of me could have a name and room decor and clothing picked out in advance of the birth. So on the day we showed up at the doctor’s office for the twenty-week ultrasound, I wondered what Tom would think if we found out that our baby was a girl. And, guess what? This is what the ultrasound revealed:

Sure, in advance of the ultrasound, Tom had assured me that he’d be happy either way, boy or girl. He said that he just wanted to have a healthy baby and all of that. He said all of the right things. But I couldn’t help that my abandonment issues would kick in at full force but fret just a little that he might be disappointed, so I looked over at his face. And what I saw made me fall so much more madly in love with him than I could ever have imagined would be possible. Tom sat by my side and his tear-filled eyes were fixed upon that ultrasound picture of the baby who would be Laura with genuine and unabashed rapture. After we left the appointment, because at that point in time I had not yet had enough therapy to have learned to trust my own eyes and instincts I asked Tom if he had the chance to trade the fetus we had for a boy, would he do it. And he took my hand and looked into my eyes and said the words that I will never forget for the rest of my life, “I wouldn’t change a thing, don’t you know that? I already love this baby.” And today? Together they watch the Superbowl, play chess, and work on fractions, ratios, formulas and exponents.

And so I say to this man, this man whom I picked so well to be the father of our three children because mother knows best, this man who chose two of his daughters and created one, Happy Father’s Day. You deserve it.



55 comments on “Mother Knows Best”

  1. Cheri…gosh, are you good, or what?? Choosing the perfect man for you and all your girls…and…at telling us about it. That was beautiful.
    Happy Father’s Day…to you all!!

  2. i cannot imagine what better gift you could give your husband than writing a post like this. i’m thinking the same as type(little) a: an example like he’s set has already put the bar pretty high for anyone who would come into your daughters’ lives.
    myra
    wemakethree.com

  3. I loved that post, Cheri – it was PERFECTLY wonderful! Happy Father’s Day to your very special husband – you did good!

    Have a good week – Kellan

  4. My oh my. You had to go and get all sappy on us, huh? I love the way he embraced his (expanding) household of females without blinking. It takes a special man to see the gift in FOUR girls menstruating together.

    Sorry. I had to go and ruin it.

    Bravo to YOU, Tom, and all 3 girls!

  5. Is it wrong that I noticed his shiny black hair first when you were writing such a loving post?

    Those pictures with your girls are precious.

    I know a lot of things in life go wrong, but I sure love to hear when they go so perfectly.

    Happy father’s day to you all.

  6. Love, love, love this post. I’m a sap, so it makes complete sense! You clearly have great taste.

    Happy Father’s Day to your main man and one terrific dad!

    And, fabulous new avatar BTW! You look fantastic!

  7. Ahhh, we share the same love of putting our men through the flaming rings of fire when it comes to our kiddies. I didn’t let Veto (or any man) even MEET Buddy Budderson or Loopy. Finally, I decided that Veto made the cut and let him into the house to meet the kids – for dinner only! Limited to 1.5 hours, don’t stay any longer. It was on the table within minutes of him walking through the door. By the time he left, well, it was a done deal for all of us. By the time he proposed, a mere three months later, both kids were beside themselves. It was meant to be.

    Love your wedding pics and stories. Come to my blog party on the 26th! I’m sure you’ve got more to share.

  8. Okay, Cheri, disregard my man-hating comments in my email. They don’t apply to Tom, of course! What a guy, he continues to impress me through you everytime you write about him. And he’s so cute too.

  9. Hi, I hope you don’t mind my visit to your blog. That was a beautiful story about your husband. My husband welcomed 4 daughters and a grandchild when we married…now he has eight grandchildren who only know him as Grandpa.
    There really are some wonderful men in this world.

  10. I came over here to tell you that I read your comment on Bossy’s lottery post and about peed my pants.

    But btw….omg what a lovely Father’s Day post! Love your blog!

  11. How did I miss all these posts? Six of them according to bloglines. But bloglines didn’t tell me you were posting. And you know I am one of your most loyal readers. Because of posts like this (so wonderful).

  12. What a wonderful Fathers day.

    Hi! Love your blog! I would like to invite you to check out Mom Dot it is a site that is focusing on featuring bloggers. We all love to have readers and comments make us feel loved so this is a way to get that done. You can read about it on my blog A Daily Dose of Toni (that link will take you to the post about Mom Dot). If you are interested in being added to our list please contact me back at tpatton5@gmail.com Just make the title Mom Dot so I know you are not a spammer LOL. We will feature every blogger involved at some point. Hope to hear from you soon!

  13. You’re very lucky. I’ve been single now for 11 years (nearly 12) and my boys and I have gone it alone. Never did find that someone special. I really enjoyed reading this post. Glad to see that some people are luckier!!

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