"I need a belt," my husband said to me yesterday.
This? Is not surprising. My husband often needs things. He doesn't say to me, "I want XYZ". He needs it, whatever it happens to be. Maybe he thinks "need" instead of "want" makes it sound more urgent? I don't know. Usually, there are several needs all at the same time. He doesn't just need shoes (which we bought Saturday) or polo shirts (also, um, Saturday). He needs all of them. At the same time. Thankfully, he didn't need pants. You all know what happens when the man has to buy pants.
So he needed a belt. Which to be fair, he really did. His old belt looked like crap. Plus he'd had it for like longer than he's known me and he's known me FOR-EVER. So it was fine, really.
He wanted to take the Boy Child, which was also fine. I didn't want to go belt shopping. Shoe and shirt shopping on Saturday were quite enough for me.
Several hours later, I get a text. That the Boy needs some new church shoes and it just so happens they've found some, for the low low price of $41. He texted me a picture. He was very pleased with himself because the shoes were regularly $75. He still does not get the concept that "regular" price is all made up...that no one ever pays that price. That just because the cookies at the grocery store have a yellow tag does not mean they are a good value. But whatever.
So they got shoes. And a belt for each them.
This morning the Boy dressed for school in his ironed white polo shirt, regulation khaki pants, his little black belt (which wrapped a long way around that skinny little frame) and his little black church shoes (which are not little at all and are actually OH MY GOOD GOD a size 11.5 in Mens).
"Dad told me that my belt needs to match my shoes," he explained.
I guess I'd never told him that.
I knew it. It was somewhere in my head, probably somewhere hidden. I don't wear belts. I try to make sure my purse and shoes match, but they usually don't. I'm a little bit...fashion-challenged. To put it politely.
"He tells me a lot of things."
He does. And I am glad.
They didn't call him dad when we got married. They called him Jason, just like I did. I think seriously the day after we got married the Girl Child decreed that he was "Daddy". And just like that, it was so. The Girl Child has a way of making things so.
But he is dad now. He does the dad things. He has the conversations with the teenage boy that would be uncomfortable for me. He teaches them things. Important things, like to hold the door open for your mom. To get your sister a drink. That women like to be treated a certain way. That you always have a home. That it's okay to screw up sometimes. To be the best you can be. To make sure your belt and shoes match.
He is a good man.
He is a good dad.
Our life is not perfect. It would be impossible to have a perfect life with two teens in the home, with two adults in the home who are human and flawed, with a wonderful stinky dog, with two jobs, ten high school teachers, and more floors to scrub than we used to have.
It's a good life though.
A very, very good life.