“Do you think anything will ever be …… easy?” Brady said, a uncharacteristically defeated note creeping into his voice. We’d spent the whole day trying to find common interests in couches and art, only to discover that we’d never want to be decorating a house in the same part of town.
I thought back to our first date, at a cocktail reception in an art museum, where pointing out art we liked and disliked just made for interesting conversation, and an excuse to lean in and touch each other’s arm, as we talked over the music. Neither of us were thinking about a potential life partner.
Religion, politics, our approach to parenting, music, the fact that I don’t believe in joint checking, at times the list felt endless, the list of ways we differed. Every time a future of negotiating every little detail with him started to look bleak, I compared it to how much more awful it would be to raise a child with a man who didn’t care, and thanked my lucky stars. And I hoped our baby would have his smile.
Brady is the last man I ever would have picked to have a baby with, but compared to all the like-minded losers I’ve known over the years, the little boys in men’s bodies …… well, let’s just say I accidentally picked a perfect father.
But all the respect in the world doesn’t mean we could pick a movie to watch on a Friday night. This baby was our Breakfast at Tiffany’s. And now that there’s no longer a baby, we have decided to acknowledge the writing on the wall and call it quits. When I told him I loved him, I never once lied. But of course, we both knew what we didn’t want to say. We were a mutually admiring mis-match, best suited to cheer from each other’s sidelines. Oh and how I would cheer. Brady is self-aware grownup, a secure and happy person, unique and very loyal.
To say we’re “just friends,” after what we’ve been through together is a laughable understatement. He never once let go of me that night I lay there and bled. The memory of his kindness and care and understanding through our pregnancy brings tears to my eyes. I wouldn’t take the whole experience back for anything. He says he wouldn’t either, a statement that took me from sniffling to crying onto his shoulder.
Now excuse me while I go bedazzle Brady a shirt that says, “I have references.”
He’d prolly wear it. For a while, anyway. And I love that about him.