I’m gonna tell you some things about Brad as a father.

Brad was pretty afraid when I got pregnant with Taylor. I’m sure a million things went through his mind. I’d catch his face sometimes when he’d watch me get bigger and bigger. And especially when my nose grew.

It grew very wide. That was very weird.

He never expressed his fears, but I know he had them. So did I.

The day we found out that Tay was going to be born was a pretty dramatic day. I had been assigned a substitute teaching position and when I woke up, it was raining. I was really feeling apprehensive about driving the car we had. Kind of terrified, really. Things just felt wrong.

Back story. This is all occurring in the inner city in Kansas City, MO.

Brad had gone to a police auction and purchased an old postal truck. He and a friend, Bump, bought a ton of black spray paint and doused the truck with it. They called it the urban assault vehicle. It was supposed to be safe. I guess because it was square and looked stupid ghetto. And it already had bullet holes so no one cared.

It also had no seat belts. And you had to sit in the passenger side to drive it.  Which is awkward.

So. That morning I begged Brad to drive me. I cannot express the hatred and fear I had for driving that ridiculous excuse for a car. He convinced me I needed to face my fears. (He was really right, on a lot of levels.)

I left for work. Next thing I knew I was bouncing around on the pavement of the highway. My next memory is staring into a truck driver’s face. I can still see him mouthing “Oh my god”. When his truck stopped, I had somehow come to a standing position and I could reach my hand out and touch the bumper of his semi.

The rest is simple craziness. Paramedics came. Our car had slammed into a median. The back door was completely dented where my head hit it on the way out. I had no insurance so I begged the paramedics to drive me back to our apartment. I crawled up the stairs, climbed fully dressed back in bed with Brad and started sobbing.

Poor guy had no idea what hit him.

I just whispered, “I’ve been in an accident.”

Mayhem.

He was beside himself. About this time a massive knot had formed on the back on my head. Duh. I had dented a postal truck door with the force of it.

His first instinct was to pray. And no joke. The massive knot disappeared instantly.

Instantly.

He still wanted to take to me to the clinic. The free clinic.

That’s how we rolled.

After a thorough investigation, all was somehow well with my body.

And there was news.

I was pregnant.

The nurse’s exact words were, “This baby should not have made it with that kind of impact”.

My baby was a little miracle.

We sort of went home and stared at each other.

Lots of things happened throughout the pregnancy. We moved into a new house. I got shingles. Whole ‘nother story worth being told. I ate crab rangoon until I couldn’t see straight.

And then it was time.

And do you know what Brad did? He bought a stop watch that hung around his neck.

It was hilarious.

He timed contractions, drove me to the hospital twice for false alarms, and finally, helped me manhandle a nurse I named Helga. She was the most terrifying woman on this planet.

Did I mention that my baby doctor was a hippie, I had attended a baby/aids clinic throughout the pregnancy and we couldn’t afford “drugs”?

Tay’s birth was totally natural. I blacked out a few times, but I did have her like an African bush woman in a field.  I wasn’t even given Tylenol. She was born on the evening of the 19th and was home early afternoon on the 20th.

It takes a dedicated man to handle these things.

But Brad was smitten.

He was an immediate daddy.

I’ll never forget how he’d come home and want to lay down with her on his chest. He’s doze off and I’d stare at them together. Then I’d go do laundry. I needed to use my hands when I could.

You never know what it’s going to be like until it happens.

Brad is a great dad. He gives our kids confidence. He’s never pushed them to be what they aren’t. He stretches them in their faith. He creates opportunities for them to succeed. He even fishes and tosses footballs.

And he wore a stop watch around his neck with our first born child.

My kids will have no regrets with their dad.

That makes me proud.

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