today is my son-in-law's birthday. born three days before katie, my oldest daughter, his wife, brad quickly became more or less a fixture in our house once they started dating in their senior year of high school. three year old libby fell in love, finding in brad something of the big brother she missed.
are you going to marry my sister, she asked brad one night when he showed up to take katie somewhere. not tonight, he answered without missing a beat.
i remember when she first mentioned him, during that very first week at her third school in as many years. it was just part of a fairly standard conversation, part of a fairly standard answer, to a question parents ask every day - how's school?
she answered with a fairly standard list, and then she paused and said: and there's this boy in math class. he sits behind me and he seems to think everything's funny.
why do you think that, i asked,
because he's always laughing, katie answered. not everything's funny.
i remember how her words stung my heart because i knew she knew that all too well.
that's no reason not to like him, i said, especially if he's cute.
i guess he's cute, said katie with a sniff, implying that the boy likely thought himself as cute as he was funny. and that was the end of it, until she brought him home to meet me, well over a year later, and i saw for myself that he was cute and he was funny, along with kind and agreeable. even then i could see how he balanced katie's intensity with something of my own son's sunny charm. i saw how he made her laugh.
and furthermore, the war must end. blessed be.