Several years ago – 28-ish – a refrain started in my life.  It was interesting, the different variations that cropped up but they all went something like this:  “Oh I’d be interested in you if it weren’t for ‘that kid’.  I’m just not into kids.”

I didn’t realize it at the time, but that was a pretty darned good test of someone’s character.  Not that there was something wrong with a guy not wanting to deal with kids, but in some men, there was a lurking attitude that I don’t think was conducive to a good relationship with me.

That kid.

That kid just turned thirty last Thursday.  THIRTY.  30.  THURTY.  Wow.

That kid.  That kid changed my life.  That kid taught me about total, complete love.  That kid was worth far more than any of the men who turned away from me because I had that kid.  I refused to date because that kid was more important than what those men had to offer… Russian hands and Roman fingers, wrestling matches on the couch or in the front seat of a car, and continual “But why not?” and “That’s just not natural”… because I wouldn’t “sleep” with them.

When Alpha Hubby was gently placed into my life by God, sneaking him in past my defences, that kid and I became even more blessed.  Alpha Hubby was nervous, sure.  He did not know about dating a woman with a kid BUT he never expressed that.  He gave us a chance… and he fell in love with that kid.

What a difference a day makes.  You go to work, not realizing that everything is getting ready to change.  You meet a man who actually sees your heart and decides he wants more.  Seven weeks later, you marry this gift and he brings more love into your life and into that kid’s life than you’ve ever experienced before. 

NO, that’s not true. we had NEVER experienced that kind of unconditional love until him.

Alpha Hubby adopted that kid, gave him his name, love, guidance, and joy.  He is his dad.  Eighteen and a half years later, they still have the most amazing relationship. 

When that kid was seventeen, he called me up and said, “Take dad and look at the video I sent you, OK?”  We got on the computer.  We cried.  To this day when I view this video, I cry.  I cry because of that kid who felt love so strongly for his dad, that he sent this video.  I cry because God was so good to send that kid his heart’s desire – a real dad.

That kid.  That kid, who is a man now, has brought so much joy into my life, and he continues to.  He is a blessing from God.  And Alpha Hubby, another blessing from God, bringing even more joy into my life.  I am not sure what I’ve done to deserve two such amazing blessings, but I do know where they came from – and Who. 

Or –

When a single mom goes out on a date with somebody new
It always winds up feeling more like a job interview
My momma used to wonder if she’d ever meet someone
Who wouldn’t find out about me and then turn around and run

I met the man I call my dad when I was five years old
He took my mom out to a movie and for once I got to go
A few months later I remember lying there in bed
I overheard him pop the question and prayed that she’d say yes

And then all of a sudden
Oh, it seemed so strange to me
How we went from something’s missing
To a family
Looking back all I can say
About all the things he did for me
Is I hope I’m at least half the dad
That he didn’t have to be

I met the girl that’s now my wife about three years ago
We had the perfect marriage but we wanted somethin’ more
Now here I stand surrounded by our family and friends
Crowded ’round the nursery window as they bring the baby in

And now all of a sudden
It seemed so strange to me
How we’ve gone from something’s missing
To a family
Looking through the glass I think about the man
That’s standing next to me
And I hope I’m at least half the dad
That he didn’t have to be

Looking back all I can say
About all the things he did for me
Is I hope I’m at least half the dad
That he didn’t have to be

Yeah, I hope I’m at least half the dad
That he didn’t have to be
Because he didn’t have to be
You know he didn’t have to be

Brad Paisley, He Didn’t Have to Be