NOTE: This post may seem a bit rambling, as my mind is wandering a bit. It does not mean that my feelings on the subject are any less diminished.
I have known my husband longer than my daughter. (I'm pretty sure that in 99% of cases one tends to know the father of one's child longer than one knows the child.) Yet, I rarely mention him in this blog. I am not ungrateful to him. I don't set him out of my mind. I know it may seem that way, especially to people to know me, but part of that is just my typically solitary nature. Nonetheless, it's past time for me to include him amongst my list of gratitude-inducing phenomena.
I met him within my first month at Florida Tech, at a FITSSFF (FIT Society of Science Fiction and Fantasy) open game day. Honestly, I don't think he even took notice of me until our second semester there. We started to interact a little more, especially when I moved into the same dorm because a single room became available. I prefer my own room to sharing with a roommate, especially as I really never meshed well with roommates. He was pretty sweet, even though we were more casual acquaintances at the time. How many people would drive a girl they barely knew and her friend out to a job interview, about 1.5 hours each way? He did. And if he hadn't, then I would never have been able to work at Universal Studios the summer between my junior and senior years. I probably might not have ended up on the school paper, either. He told us all about working on the paper on our way back to campus. Initially I was sold on the idea of getting to move back into the dorms a week before everyone else so that I could avoid the chaos that is freshman orientation (for reference, this is in 1999, right after ending my junior year at FIT and before coming back for my senior year). No, before you start judging me, I did not befriend my future husband just because he had a car. True, I was without my own vehicle, but I did not see him as a resource to be used. He has always been a person to me. I saw him as a friendly acquaintance, then as a friend the more I got to know him. He introduced me to a few people who became friends as well, most of them through either FITSSFF or from The Crimson (FIT school paper) staff.
Throughout college I was always ahead of my [future] husband. I transferred in with two years of credits at the time that he was starting out as a freshman. We were both the same age, though, so I felt more advanced. I liked that thought. I even managed to stay ahead of him until we made our move to our current home. I graduated with my first master's degree when he got his bachelor's degree. And I finished my second master's degree a year before he finished his master's degree. I even got a semi-professional job, something that looked like the start of a potential career, while he was finishing up his degree. It felt great to be ahead of the game for a while. Things have turned around quite a bit, but that's to be expected with the natural progression of maturity. Before I get ahead of myself, I suppose the curious might be interested in how we moved from casual acquaintances to dating, etc. It's not a fantastic story filled with drama and redemption and moving moments, but it's mine to tell.
We started dating after a series of late-night Kubrick movie watching sessions. I would not necessarily recommend this method for attracting girls, by the way. I remember falling asleep during 2001: A Space Odyssey. I also remember missing the "plot" of most of the Kubrick movies because I couldn't keep my focus; it was usually after 1 a.m. when we watched them. I'll be honest, I can't even remember which movie we were watching when we shared our first kiss, but I do remember that it was afterwards we decided that our friendship was growing. Many of our friends at the paper wondered what took us so long to become a couple, as we spent so much time together. To be fair, a lot of that time was spent working on the paper itself. I guess I just didn't realize how much time we hung out beyond that, especially since we never had any classes together. I was studying psychology and he was working on ocean engineering.
Time moved forward. Details will not be filled in here. We became engaged in his junior year, my first year of grad school. A little over a year later we were married and our daughter was born. My parents loved him from the get-go. My dad said "I was wondering when you two would get together" after I told my parents about our dating. My in-laws took quite a few years to get used to me. I think they have since warmed up to me. For the record, I never saw my in-laws as the stereotypical evil people who hate anyone who steals their children away. They are people. They may think and do some things differently from what I was used to, but this provides me many opportunities to expand my horizons.
My husband's career has moved forward, while mine managed to stall [see "I Am Adjunct" post]. He has expanded my horizons. He took me on my first cruise, introduced me to Dragon*Con, helped me find and accept my inner geek. I know I can be annoying and frustrating to him. I know I test his patience with my lack of home-making skills. I know I seem to pour too much focus elsewhere. I know I don't always show my husband of 10 years all the love and attention he may need. Not showing the feelings does not preclude them from existing. He is a good father and a wonderful provider. There are times when our daughter feels like she doesn't get enough time with her daddy and times when I feel overwhelmed by my expected contributions to our family. Yet, he is always there to take some of the stress off my shoulders when I absolutely need it (like at the end of a semester when I go into hyper-grading mode and just need to be left alone to work). He is valued at work and even more valued at home. I thank God that he sent me a man who is sweet and understanding and still has the ability to bring me back down into the depths of reality when I need it. I love my husband. I can see myself with no one else. I may appreciate other men's attractive facades, but I will always come back to my husband. I'm pretty sure he loves me too, or he's at least comfortable enough with me to keep us together as a family.