You see, that’s not something he would normally do. He is a very giving, loving, and caring husband and father, but a recent experience we had tested everyone’s character and patience.
Our fourth child had recently arrived from Korea– a beautiful 5-month-old baby boy. We never planned on a big family. When we were married, we both worked full time, he as a police administrator, me as an attorney. We adopted our first child on short notice, had a biological child 17 months later, adopted a third daughter from Korea a few years later, and then rounded it all off with the arrival of our son.
He was an early Christmas present, arriving on December 10th. The big girls were ecstatic. We were all in love with him the minute we met. He and his new Daddy formed a special bond as soon as he flashed my husband an ear-to-ear grin when they met.
This holiday was special. We had lots of extra visitors with folks dropping by to see the baby. All the while, I selfishly cuddled my new little boy, reluctant to let others hold him very often.
“This is my last baby,” I told my husband. “I don’t want to put him down.”
“You don’t know that,” my husband chided me. I thought he would be the last. The expenses of all of our adoptions have caused us to choose to live in a small house with few luxuries. (“But we have these beautiful children,” my husband reminds me when I become jealous of other people’s houses.)
The week after Christmas, his relatives arrived to celebrate with us. On an uneventful Tuesday afternoon, I suggested, “Let’s go roller skating.” Grandma and Grandpa jumped at the chance to watch the baby while the aunts and uncles, cousins, nephews, and nieces went off to skate. I hadn’t skated since grammar school, but I am game for anything.
On my very first circle around the rink, I fell backwards and landed directly on my elbow, shattering my upper arm into about five pieces. After seven hours of reconstructive surgery, Humpty Dumpty (my new nick name) was back together again, but I was out of commission for many weeks. Who would tend the children?
Daddy and his new son had bonded splendidly. He assumed the total care of the house and children, taking time off work under the Family Leave Medical Act. He cooked the meals, cleaned the house, tended my injuries, helped me get my socks on, buttoned my shirts, tied my shoes, and, yes, shaved my underarms. And he did it all out of a spirit of love and compassion.
My daughters and I were discussing marriage recently. I told them they would do well to find someone with half the mettle of their father. And some young lady is going to be blessed to marry the likes of my new son, after his Daddy is done teaching him.