They're so amazing. I'm so blessed to have them in my life, even if they don't speak my "language." They are fun, beautiful, intriguing, delicate, passionate. They are unique, smart, photogenic, dedicated, understanding.
Some of you may not know, but Spokane, Washington, was probably the last place on my list of cities to live (no offense). But boy am I glad I made that choice. I remember once saying, in my foolish youth, that I would never step foot in California, and I certainly would never marry a Californian. Oh how that changed in a heartbeat. I also never believed in "love at first sight." But the moment I saw her, I knew I would spend the rest of my life with her. My pick up line: "hey, if you ever need the oil changed in your Honda, I have a Chiltons Manual." That was almost seven years ago, and what an incredible journey it's been so far.
Then, it happened...I had an affair. In fact, I still am. I still remember when Joy told me she was pregnant. We were in southern California at the time and Joy insisted on taking me out after a very long day of packing our shipment for Africa. I really didn't want to go, didn't want to spend the money, take the time, etc. We went to Mimi's, and asked for a really yummy ice cream, chocolate syrup, whipped cream, brownie thing with a cherry on top. Let's just say the cherry was really the only edible part, the rest was hard as a rock. Yes, even the ice cream. But I didn't care; there's no expression for the feeling a man gets when you tell him he's going to be a father.
9 months later, the same "love at first sight" occurred with Kaitlyn Renee, my little sweet girl. We were in Sherbrooke, Quebec, and had traveled to Newport, Vermont, just over the US border for a doctor visit. Joy was having contractions and they were getting stronger, so we decided to stick around for a while, just in case. Again, we had a bad experience with food and ate at a Chinese joint in "downtown" Newport. Next time we'll know to skip that place.
Joy labored all through the night and the next morning before Kaitlyn finally arrived. I remember feeling so tired, excited, and not knowing what I was supposed to do. I remember almost passing out. I don't mind the blood and all that, but people in pain and screaming just doesn't sit well with me. I was a big fan of the epidural. Joy, at the time, was indifferent. When Kaitlyn was born, we saw her for thirty seconds before she was quickly whisked away and diagnosed with a pneumothorax. She had a partially collapsed lung with a tiny hole in it.
It's fun to see her now, and how she has different personality traits of both of us (good and bad). At 10 months, she wanted to jump in and swim down Niagara Falls. She has to do everything herself, loves to joke, and would eat a whole tub of butter if she could. She has a great compassion for people, and absolutely loves airplanes.