Today, I call up Tee to thank him for our friendship.
“Last night, I learned all over again that if you look for what’s wrong, you find it,” I say. People defeated by chance are out there bashing their exes as we speak. I have done my share of this. Now it makes me cringe.
Tee and I have something more precious than I ever knew. Some of it is the luck of the draw, and I breathe a sigh of relief for the hand I hold. Some of it, though, is a choice we make every day.
“If we wanted to, we could come up with a list of each other’s faults and run it up the flagpole for everyone to see. But we don’t. I don’t even want to. I’m really grateful for that.”
“Faults?” Tee says with a gasp. “I have faults?”
Oh, how we chuckle. Then it is on to after-school contracts and camp registration fees, plans for the weekend and Bug’s upset tummy. Soon enough, Bug is yanking on me, wanting me back in full spectator mode for the All-Bug-All-Day live spring-break broadcast. I put the phone on speaker and let Tee and his son hear each other as we wrap up the conversation.
“Well, anyway,” I say. “Thanks.”
“Thank you, too,” Tee replies. Then he calls out to our kid, “Hope you feel better, buddy. I love you.”
Bug, back at his puzzles, ignores him. I laugh. “How about, ‘Bye, Dad! See you later! I love you, too!'” Even though I am only aping my son, I notice the catch in my throat there at the end. It feels strange rolling off the tongue as easily as it does. It feels strange because it is true. I do love Tee. He is not my man, but he is my son’s dad. Our family.