11w2d when the cat is away…

Dear Baby Z,

Your Dad went to Atlanta this weekend to visit your grandmother, which can only mean one thing…FREEDOM!  No one to nag me to take my prenatal vitamins, no one to monitor that I’m eating enough fruit, no one shoving broccoli down my throat.  We can do whatever we want!

So your Mom did laundry, cleaned out her closet (because sadly, you’re growing too big for Mommy to fit comfortably in her clothes anymore), watched Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part I (a movie your Dad would never be caught dead watching with us), took Henry to get groomed, vacuumed the whole apartment, ate a box of Cheez-Its, and played Angry Birds until 1 in the morning.

Okay – so we didn’t exactly walk on the wild side, but we sure had fun!

Except this morning, Daddy sent us an email that simply said, “I miss you and baby and Henry.”

That’s the thing about your Dad – sometimes when you think you can enjoy your life more without him, he says something that reminds you how much you like having him around – nagging and all.

Your Dad and I met almost five years ago at Central Park Zoo, where his former law firm was throwing a fancy summer party for all the lawyers (this was before the economy took a dive in 2008), and Mom was crashing the party with her friend Sarah, who had just joined your Dad’s law firm.  Dad and Mom were introduced to each other near the penguin exhibit, and your Dad made a series of jokes in poor taste (something you’ll learn that he does quite often – you get used to it), and Mommy wasn’t too impressed by what she heard and saw.  So we didn’t see each other again until a few weeks later, when surprisingly, I ran into your Dad again at my 26th birthday party.  Your Dad, not one to take a hint, decided to crash Mom’s party with at least 8 of his friends (some of whom are your honorary uncles today).  Mom wasn’t too pleased.

Another six months passed, and because Mom was recently single at the time, Mom’s friend Sarah decided to play matchmaker.  She set Mom up with a guy from her law firm, and it was none other than your old man Dad.  I will never forget our first date – because it was a total disaster.  Your Dad took me to a pretty cheesy bar near NYU – let’s put it this way, there were university students in this bar writing papers on the their laptops.  Not exactly an ideal place for a first date.  Afterwards, instead of going to dinner, your Dad took me to a yet another bar where the floors were sticky and there were paper confetti sticking to, I mean adorning, the ceiling.

Maybe it was all the wine and beer I drank that night (without dinner), but sometime during the course of the night, I started to have a pretty good time.  For one, I found out that your Dad is incredibly smart.  He was valedictorian of his high school (and got a perfect 1600 on his SATs,  your Dad’s mom often likes to remind me), went to Harvard College, got his degree in Computer Science (this should explain why all we have so many computers and assorted random gadgets in our home), worked as a management consultant for a while before deciding to go to law school (your Grandma told me he studied for his LSATs during a five hour flight from San Francisco to New York – and aced the test), and joined one of the top law firms in the entire world as a corporate lawyer by age 25.  Not too shabby, right?  Your Mom was/is a sucker for smart men.

But more importantly, I found out on our first date that your Dad is also humble, honest, sweet, funny (don’t tell him I said this or the tasteless penguin jokes might make a reappearance), and…more-than-slightly awkward around women.  He was so nervous on our first date that he kept talking and talking and talking…only some of which made any sense.  He also let me win at darts – if you know about your Dad’s competitive streak, this was possibly the grandest romantic gesture that he’s ever made (and the one and only time your Dad has ever let me win at anything on purpose).

But what truly convinced me that your Dad was a keeper on that first date five years ago was when, at the end of the evening, after your Dad put me in a cab home (with an awkward hug goodnight), I realized that I had left my ear muffs at one of the bars we were at – except I had no idea which one.  I sent a text to your Dad asking him if he had my ear muffs, but unfortunately, he didn’t and he was also already on his way home in a cab.

I put the ear muffs out of my mind until two days later, when your Dad called to ask me out again – this time, for dinner (finally).

When I showed up at the restaurant, your Dad had my ear muffs with him. He had gone back to each bar that night and searched until he found it.

The rest, as they say, is history.  Or for another letter.

Your Dad and I don’t always get along.  Sometimes we quibble over the most ridiculous things – such as who is the better Scrabble player (me, clearly).  We don’t always enjoy the same movies, or read the same books, or enjoy doing the same things.  But your Mom likes to think that we agree on the things that matter.  We both love sleeping in on weekends, eating spicy food until we sweat, and bickering over board games.  We love taking long hikes and traveling around the world.  We love snuggling on the couch.  We love holding hands and aimlessly walking around foreign cities.  We love playing with our dog Henry.

But most of all, we love you.

Baby Z, you have one pretty awesome Dad.  If there is one thing I’ve learned over the years with him, it’s that your Dad is the most patient and kind man that I’ve ever met (because believe it or not, Mom can be pretty difficult at times).  And I know that if you ever lose your favorite toy or your favorite ear muffs, your Dad would hunt to the end of the world to find it for you.

Because that’s just the kind of guy he is.

Just try to remember that when he makes you eat your vegetables or tells you its time for a bath.  Or forces you to attend his alma mater.

We can’t wait for him to come home.



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