Paul's Heart

Life As A Dad, And A Survivor

My “Son In Law”

There are two possibilities of thought running through your mind right now.  The first is that I am really rushing things with my oldest daughter only being less than ten years old.  The second, no, this is not going to be an arranged marriage. 

I was introduced to my “son in law” many years ago.  My daughters were invited to a birthday party for two friends, who were twins.  I had never met them before this party.  This was no ordinary birthday party.  It was a karate themed party at an actual dojo, being led by two 2nd degree black belts.  Both kids are very friendly, though it is the boy who has the more outgoing personality.  He is a clown.  The karate instructor knows this boy very well and capitalizes on his hilarious any playfulness.

Showing a demonstration of a blocking technique, the master feigns a punch in the boy’s direction.  The kid reacts in an overexagerated demonstration and falls to the floor with all limbs flapping in different directions.  I hear an immediate defensive scream careening towards the instructor.  He is under attack.  Thinking this is cute, one of the boy’s little buddies running to his defense.  And then I hear it, “You get your hands off my husband!” 

I recognized that voice and it definitely matched the sound of the attacking scream.  It was my oldest daughter, then five years old.  And she was now clinging to the karate master’s leg, chopping at him, struggling with him, and repeatedly defending her little friend.  And then it sinks in.  Madison said “husband”.  I know I was not just hearing things.  I turned to Wendy with a very confused look on my face.  What I got in return, “I’ll fill you in later.”

That was five years ago.  And through all of these years, the word “husband” gets tossed around alot when describing Matthew.  Wendy has used it.  Matthew’s mother has used it.  And Madison has used it.  As children, we all pretended.  We pretended to be cops and robbers, maybe firemen, and depending on the make up of  the neighborhood, we pretended to be family. 

Their friendship is harmless.  I know that.  It is quite playful as they are more buddies who roughhouse than a boy and a girl trying to sneak in a “smooch”.  I actually envy them.  They have been friends longer in their short lives than I have had with most others in my four decades.  Their innocence with each other, their loyalty to their friendship, and their ability to not judge each other, means that they will have at the least, a very long friendship with each other.  I envy that.

I do not know if some day in the future they will be husband and wife.  Over my lifetime, I know several couples who have been at least high school sweethearts, their first and only true loves.  I do know that Matthew meets one of my main criteria for my daughters, he treats her nicely.  Personally, he will have his hands full if she is indeed his future bride.  To use the term high maintenance to describe Madison is fairly understated.  I do not know if they are a modern day Thomas J and Vada.  Only time will tell.


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