Then Dorothy and I moved to Asheville, NC. Sophia did too. I guess you could say she moved for me, but that's debatable. Regardless, Dorothy started a new job—10-hour days and lots of travel. Sophia enrolled in a new school, part-time, and I began a new job working mostly from home, which afforded us plenty of time. Now we spend five or six hours together each day, riding bikes, going to the park for picnics, visiting the library and museums, and watching movies. Sophia loves Disney—I swear we've watched 101 Dalmatians 50 times in the eight months we've been in Asheville. Why One Dad Embraced A Reversal Of Gender Roles
Sophia and I have become so close we can finish each other's sentences. We've developed our own inside jokes, language, games and idiosyncratic routines. I've even started a blog about our relationship.
Dorothy knows all about us. And for the most part, she's fine with it. Take last week as an example: when Dorothy came home and found me giving Sophia a bubble bath—in her shower—she smiled and announced, "You guys look like you're having fun!" How understanding is that!?
Ok, it's time to confess what you may have already guessed: the other woman in my life, Sophia, is my 2-and-a-half-year-old daughter.
Sure, children can arrest marriages: maybe Mom has to put a career on hold, or Dad realizes he just isn't ready to be a dad, or mom and dad bicker constantly over the cumulative array of child-rearing decisions (diet, vaccines, public or private school?—the list is endless). But it shouldn't be this way. A child should be one of the foundations of a strong marriage, the epoxy that fastens Mom and Dad's sometimes disjointed interests and beliefs, the tonic that tempers those (more and more) frequent periods of disquietude.
I'm reminded of this as I grow closer to the other woman in my life. The more time I spend with my daughter, the more attuned I become to what I love about my wife. It's probably because Sophia is exactly like Dorothy—a mini "D."