Becoming a parent is stressful. I know that's a duh, but it’s a transition that has broken up many a marriage and I think in the back of my mind I worried about how the stress would affect us. I know how lucky we are to have each other and at night I'd ask myself the question I was afraid to ask aloud in the daylight? Would growing our family break us apart? Okay who I am kidding? Before we adopted Elian I used to grab Arnold and random intervals and demand "What are we doing? Is this a good idea? Are we going to hate each other after we do this?" There was pretty much nothing hidden about my fears. I had a similar type of panic attack right before we bought our house.
Despite my natural tenancy towards anxiety one thing I’ve never worried about is whether Arnold would be a good father. Anyone whose seen him fuss over Nutella can immediately see that he is "Bestfatherintheworld" material. I’ve always known he would be a wonderful father and now that I’ve seen him in action I can’t help but think not only are we the luckiest parents to have Elian but that Elian is the luckiest little boy to have Arnold.
One morning the first week Arnold single-handedly fed Elian breakfast (incidentally the third breakfast he made, since Elian rejected the first two) while keeping him away from the Christmas tree ornaments and distracting him so that he wouldn’t have a fit about not being allowed to touch the Christmas tree ornaments. It is no joke feeding a toddler without a high chair in someone else’s home. Trust.
The first day we broke out the stroller I asked Arnold if he needed help and he waved me off indignantly "I used to wheel my Tia all over Bogota" I'm a professional. And you know what? He totally is.
At night Arnold puts Elian to bed cooing in his ear and tucking him in snug as a bug as a rug. In the middle of the night he wakes me up saying “I think his blanket is on his head, do you think he is okay?” He plays with Elian spoiling him with kisses and has infinite patience with the hard parts of each day. When I spent 20 minutes flossing my teeth the first week because I couldn’t handle one more minute of tantrums Arnold sat on the floor with Elian as he kicked and screamed. He picked him up and held him tight as he cried hysterically for his beloved foster mother while I sat in the bathroom with my head in my hands and the cleanest teeth of my life.
Arnold is now and always has been a wonderful husband but he is an incredible father. We’ve been married for almost eight years and together for almost 10. After so much time together I didn’t think it was possible to love him more but now I know that I was wrong. Like most people I hate not being right but every time I see Elian in Arnold’s arms, I think that being wrong never felt better.