October 17th 2013
I have been very fortunate in my life, despite my perhaps frequent grumbling. Among the things I am grateful for, the top of the list has to be that I not only have two amazing children, but I have also been allowed to share in the growth and development of (now) eight stepchildren. I was only present for the miracle of birth twice—both times amazing and transformative—but there are additional miracles as each child grows and changes (and changes me). For all my faults as a father, and I am sure they are many, I have never not loved any of my children.
Tomorrow, I get to participate in another miracle of sorts—I get to become a father again! Linda and the boys and Sophia and I will appear in Superior Court, Department 204, at 1:30 to witness a sort of legal miracle: Sophia’s birth certificate will be altered to insert me as her legal father; her last name will change and it will be as if I had been there for her birth eight years ago.
As this event has neared, many emotions have welled up in me. The catalog of my parental errors and shortcomings runs in an endless loop, for one. Worries, too; the future is never certain. But last night, after her bath, Sophie picked a book for me to read, The Princess and the Pig, a book I bought her and for which she is perhaps too old, now. But I read it and she looked for the goofy dog in the pictures and I read things “wrong” and she corrected me. As I read to her, I remembered reading to my other children in all the different bedrooms and pajamas and after-bath wet hair. If I can do nothing else, I can at least read well. When I finished, she asked me to brush her hair, and I did, as I once brushed my daughter’s hair—and they are both my daughters, and every hair-brushing is special.
So this is just a note to all the children I have shared a bit of time with. Each of you is a miracle; my connection to you is a miracle. In our entwinement, please celebrate one more.