Life is strange, but in a good way.
In early 2009, I met a young woman named Mary. She worked at the Writing Center with me, and a mutual friend suggested she join our Dungeons and Dragons game. She was enthusiastic, if a bit odd. She asked if it was proper for her character to collect the eyelids of fallen enemies. I politely said she couldn’t do that, but she could have a tail.
A few months later, we started going out. She was everything I ever hoped to have. Mary was smart, insightful, and beautiful. She was headstrong, stubborn, and creative. The romance never wavered, and eventually we moved in together. In the holiday season of 2010, I asked her to be my wife. She was so happy, and had more than a few glasses of eggnog, so the rest of the night was spent in the bathroom as she puked up the beef burgundy we had for dinner. It’s the kind of story we like to tell when we, again, have a few drinks. It’s also one of the happiest nights of my life.
We grew closer.
A year ago, October 18, 2012, we had a common law marriage. We’ve been dying to have a proper celebration, something with masks and some horror, but time and money have been tight. This year, however, we both started good jobs. I’m teaching full time. We can get insurance. We can even make plans for a proper house in a year or so.
For our anniversary, we found out that Mary was going to give me the greatest gift of all.
Come April, she’s going to give me a baby.
It’s been a few weeks since we suspected, but on our one-year anniversary, we got final confirmation that everything looks good. Mother and baby look fine. I have a thousand questions and a million things I want to say to this child. But for right now, I’m the happiest I’ve ever been. Come what may, I know what I have to do now.
I’m going to be a father. I’m a writer, a teacher, a friend, and a son… and now I get to add “father” to that list.
I love you, Mary. And I love you too, Tyranacore/ Vader/ Athena/ Madeline/ Whatever We decide to Call You.
PS: Yes, the kid is going to be brought up on Seuss, Silverstein, and R. L. Stein. Do you even have to ask?