A laundry mat is really not the place to make life decisions, but sometimes they work out.
When Michael and I first started living together we rented this one and a half room place with concrete floors, before they were trendy, and a living room that barely had enough room for a futon (wow, remember futons?). Needless to say we didn’t have a washer and dryer, so we had to trek our dirties up the street to the laundry mat.
We used to load everything into a huge duffel bag that we affectionately called the “dick” bag. Oh stop, we were young and the bag was really big and when all the clothes were stuffed in it it looked like…I’ll stop there.
It was a particularly hot day in Tucson, Arizona. We made the pilgrimage with Dick to the laundry mat and while waiting for the transition from washer to dryer a young guy walked in with a baby on his back. I read my magazine and didn’t even notice him until Michael nudged me with a ridiculous look on his face.
“Wouldn’t it be great to have a baby?” My mouth fell open. “I mean, we’re fun and we love each other and…don’t you think it would be a cool adventure. I mean, what else are we doing?”
I looked at the guy that inspired this moment of pure insanity. It was a pretty nice pack, the baby was cute and the guy was sporting Birks and looking very “modern dad”. It was a snapshot of fatherhood, I suppose.
“Um…no, no I don’t think it would be cool at all. Do you know how much time children take and the money they cost and we’re not even out of school yet. Have you completely lost your mind? What is wrong with you?”
He shrugged and still had that stupid smile on his face. An adventure.
I found out I was pregnant four months later. Katlyn was born eight long, fat months after that and Michael and I became parents. He became a father.
He would say it hasn’t all been backpacks and laundry mats. Life of course kicked in and I was right about a lot of things that day.
He’d tell you it’s been better and more fun and messier, that he loves every piece of it. An adventure is exactly what he got and he’s right at home, a natural.
I don’t think it’s possible to know for sure what you want at 21 sitting in a laundry mat.
There are other things to consider and life can get super complicated, but it sure seemed destined on that day, with that stupid grin on his face, that Michael would be a father.
19 years, and two more children later…what else would we be doing?
We now have a washer and dryer, and a working phone for that matter (sigh), the “dick” bag is long gone, and we never saw the cool laundry mat dad again.
What remains is a truth, I guess he felt within himself that day, he is a fun, cool, in love Dad. The best I know.
Happy Father’s Day, Michael.
My thoughts from the laundry room. Sleepless Nights.