Happy Father's Day to the father of my beautiful boys!
I remember vividly how I told Michael he was going to be a dad. It was early 2000, and my husband was a Star Wars maniac. He was drawing me to the dark side, forcing me to become a fangirl myself. I'd saved up and then secretly pre-purchased the first Star Wars Trilogy (episodes IV, V, & VI) on VHS which was going to be distributed close to Valentine’s Day. It was a big deal, the first time George Lucas put it out there for people to own. It cost a fortune as I recall (which makes me giggle, you can't even buy VHS anymore!). I put the receipt and claim ticket in a sealed envelope, wrote Top Secret on it, and stuck it to the fridge. I showed it to him and said it was there to be opened when he had the WORST DAY EVER. As the weeks passed, he had a few bad days, but none he'd classify as the worst.
We'd been married for almost four years, and I'd known from the time we started dating there was a good chance I wouldn't be able to conceive without medical intervention. We had options, but we weren't pursuing them. I'd just quit my high-stress job and was taking a month off to ponder a major career change. Michael was in the middle of his own high-stress job, working on a project that would eventually move us all to Japan. I was trying to figure out what I was going to do with my life while Michael's career suddenly hit the fast lane, and life felt like an emotional roller coaster. However, there was one day where everything made me cry and fume and laugh and rage, all at once. Forget the emotional roller coaster, this was a bullet train direct to Crazytown. There was a little bitty whisper in my head suggesting what it might be, but I tried to tell it to shut up, it wasn't possible. Days passed, and the whisper became a shout. I went and bought a pregnancy test. It said to wait two minutes to read the results, but it wasn't necessary. That thing lit up like a neon light saying there was a baby on the way. My jaw hit the floor. I picked it up and then danced around the living room with Bruce the Cat (he didn't much care for that), and then paged Michael (on a pager! How quaint! How 2000!).
I continued my little dance around the living room until Michael finally called. Before I said a word, he jumped in to tell me that he was having a bad day. A day so bad, it could only be called the WORST DAY EVER. The worst day in THE HISTORY OF BAD DAYS. He asked me to meet him after work and told me to please bring the Top Secret envelope from the fridge. Then he was off the phone, back into the land of WORST DAY EVER. I was filled with sorrow. Moments before I had been dancing with unrestrained joy. Now I was bawling uncontrollably at how insensitive he was to have chosen his WORST DAY EVER to fall on the very same day as my BEST DAY EVER. How could he?!
I managed to pull it together and put the positive pregnancy test in a small box and tied a ribbon around it. I grabbed the Top Secret envelope and met him in the parking lot after work. He slouched into my car, thunderclouds swirling around his head, a stream of grumbling words coming from his mouth. He was not a pretty sight. He told me about his horrible day. I gave him the envelope, which he tore into. "Thanks, this is nice," he said. Nice? Slightly disappointed that my thoughtful gift was only in the category of nice, I handed him the box with the pregnancy test in it. He opened it up, clearly puzzled at the white plastic stick in the box. I pointed to the small picture on the stick. One pink line: not pregnant. Two pink lines: Pregnant. Then I pointed to the two glowing pink lines. He caught on.
"You're pregnant?" I nodded. "You're going to be a Mom?" I nodded again. "I'm going to be a Dad?" I nodded once more. He grabbed me and held me and together we shed some tears.
"I'm sorry your day was so bad," I whispered into his ear.
He pulled back and looked at me, slightly confused, bad day completely forgotten. "Are you kidding me? This was the BEST DAY EVER!"