On my first date with my wife, I asked her “What would your life look like 5 years from now if everything went the way you would like it to? Dream big, but be honest.”Her answer was that she would like to foster medically fragile children. In 5 years, she wants to be taking care of kids society ignores for the most part, those who need parents badly. I asked what exactly that entails, and it was one of the conversations that made me feel some of my jokes with my roommate about marrying her, which I’d been making for more than a year before the date, might be more than jokes. I never had a problem with the thought of my genes not being passed on. Heck, much of my thoughts which shape how and what I see in the world come from my step dad. 10 seconds or 3 hours of fun in bed does not a parent make. Drives to soccer, reads a book, talking about the day, models behavior etc. are the things which make us parents.
So here we are more than 10 years later, and we’ve been fostering medically fragile kids for years and been lucky enough to adopt two.Taking care of sick kids is the most rewarding thing I’ve ever done. It’s frequently exhausting, and so what? Even as I get tired, I really only have to look over at my wife or listen to her getting up in the middle of the night for the 4th time to know I have a very to match a high bar indeed if I am to try and match her effort to make the beautiful dream a reality rather than just another herculean test of fortitude and commitment.
I know I’m difficult, and I see our kids and the challenges they provide as well. Still, she’s there, usually with what ever we need. Sometimes, it’s a harsh word. Sometimes it’s with an encouragement. I’m not even going into the day to day grind of making sure everything is as it must be. Still occasionally, when I’m really lucky, with a stolen moment of passion she reminds me of when I first saw her and got hit for telling her sister, “Wow, your sister is hot.” I’d say I live for those moments, but the truth is I live for the entire dream, for the sense of purpose it’s given me. Through the years, I’ve taken the name of “The Life Well Lived” on quite a few message boards, and frequently it has meant many different things from it’s inception of how I would wish a biography of my life to be titled to what I would hope for my kids. On this Valentine’s Day, it’s for the Beautiful Dream, our dream. Thanks for letting me share.