If you would have told me six years ago that I would be married with children, I would have laughed and said, No Way! I wasn’t even dating then. I joke with friends that I planned on my girlfriends getting incrementally younger and I got incrementally older.I like to think how I met my wife is a great New York story. I met her because she wanted to take over the lease to my apartment. I had gotten into a housing lottery and had an opportunity to own my own place. She had just broken up with the brother of a mutual friend. We didn’t really have a long courtship. Our relationship moved pretty quickly.We don’t speak to that mutual friend anymore. The rumor was that our mutual friend was pretty upset that we got together. We should have made an effort to speak to her, but there was too much “entanglement” and neither of us wanted to deal with it. We did see her by chance on the street shortly after QT (our first son) was born. We walked right by each other. It was sad. I wish I would have spoken up or said something. At least I would know that I tried to reach out to her.
Anyway…She came to look at my apartment on a Sunday, called me on a Wednesday, we went out to dinner on Friday, she stayed until Sunday, and moved in shortly after. For several months it was me, her, her two dogs, and my cat in our tiny Brooklyn apartment. I had been there since getting my first “real” job with the not-for-profit that taught Constitutional Law. We were happy there. We had just met and didn’t really have any heavy decisions weighing on our relationship. I can remember we had one major fight. I don’t remember what it was about but we went to see a relationship counselor.Sometimes, I think we should go back. I felt the counselor made some good points. I am carefully to consider them when my wife and I fight now.
The early days of our relationship were spent looking forward to moving into Manhattan. Our first year in our new home was peaceful despite the evolving politics of being on the Board of Managers. In fact, that’s what we argued about most after moving in. She wanted me to join to Board, but did not support any of the decisions I made as a Board member. I was angry because joining the Board was her idea. And I did not like the idea that I was supposed to be a puppet.
Then 9/11 hit. We had only been in our new home a year when 9/11 hit. A sad truth: I had never noticed the towers from the landing of our home until they fell. The pillar of smoke seemed to rise for a week before dissipating into a gray fog that wafted through our streets for another week. The smell of paving tar still sends a momentary jolt of sadness through me. And we were among the lucky ones, we were running late, so were saved from the heart of the devastation.
The following Saturday, my wife announced she was pregnant. We considered our options, but who were we kidding, we were excited about our baby. His brother followed two years later.