Whoa — My Man Is a DAD

Do you ever just look at your husband as he’s parenting your kids, maybe wiping someone’s bottom or tying a shoelace or something totally dad-like, and say to yourself, “Now how the heck did that happen?!” How did your date-turned-boyfriend-turned-husband suddenly turn into a dad?

I always knew Nick would be a great father. When we met in our early 20s, he already had his stuff together in a way that many of his peers, myself included, did not. He was focused, motivated, responsible. I think we had been dating for several months before my parents realized he was 23, not 30-something, as they had assumed.

But still, we were 23. Practically kids ourselves. And so we acted like it. We stayed up late, slept in, made spontaneous plans, went out to eat at 9:30 p.m. Traveled lots and on a budget. Packed light. Filled long layovers with margaritas. Watched Will Ferrell movie marathons on Saturday afternoons. Crafted entire Sundays around Pats games. Went to pub trivia. Adopted a dog and treated him like our baby.

We were together for six years before we decided to get married, and still footloose and fancy-free we hosted a destination wedding in Costa Rica. Now husband and wife, we knew we wanted to be parents soon, too. I mean, to something other than a canine. So two years later, we happily welcomed our first daughter. And overnight, my Nick, my guy who brought me to a pub in Faneuil Hall on our first date, who could do a spectacular karaoke version of Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing,” who could eat burritos three nights in a row and not get sick of them, had become a father. He held our dark-haired, dark-eyed baby, all 6 pounds, 14 ounces of her, and kissed her slender fingers. I couldn’t help but smile. He totally looked the part.

imageAnd thus, a new normal was underway. We slept less. A lot less. Nick took long shifts in the middle of the night, pacing around our tiny condo while “Family Guy” played on the TV. We went to restaurants at 5:30 p.m. We kept traveling, partly to prove to ourselves that we could, but we brought with us a mountain of luggage and gear, shrugging sheepishly to each other over Sloane’s head. We lived for direct flights. And drive-thrus. We fell asleep during Pats games, a baby curled up on our chest.

And then number two came along. Our little blond-haired, blue-eyed Eve, Nick’s mini-me. And I had another out-of-body moment. It happened when Eve was just a few weeks old, and the four of us were walking into a kids’ hair salon to get Sloane’s first real haircut. I saw our reflection in the big panes of glass, a mom and a dad, both in their 30s, each carrying a kid, looking a little frazzled, very tired but also happy. And my Nick, my guy who had once carried a duffel full of groceries with a broken pickle jar down Newbury Street, arriving to our apartment covered in pickle juice, was a dad of two. Just like that.

And because we were so happy, and so crazy about the big, loving, sometimes-loud, sometimes-hectic family we were becoming, we decided to have one more baby. And we were blessed with our third daughter, Tess. When she was born, Nick cradled her in one arm like the pro he now was, and changed her tiny diaper with steady, capable hands. My Nick, who had slept next to me under a bath towel in a hotel in Bangkok (because the bed lacked sheets),image was now a dad of three little girls. A dad, no less, who can bring multiple kids to the grocery store and come home smiling, who can rake leaves while wearing a baby in his pack, who can wear a robot helmet, Olaf mask, or [insert ridiculous costume here] and not be the least bit self-conscious.

When Sloane and Eve came to meet their little sister at the hospital, the bed could barely hold the five of us. And at first it was hard for Nick, even with his long arms, to hold all three girls at once. But he did it.

A Maine native, Jessie migrated down the coast to Boston after college, and it’s been home ever since. In this great city, Jessie met her husband, graduated law school, played in numerous basketball leagues, worked as a marketing writer, ran the marathon, lived through several home renovations, and wrote many beginnings of many books. But of all these great adventures, she most loves the one she’s on now: on-the-go-mom to three energetic and hilarious daughters. Jessie, her husband, and their trio of little ladies live in Brookline.


  1. This melts my heart! I couldn’t agree more with this post and seeing my husband proudly and confidently take on the role of daddy has made me happier than I ever thought possible. Thanks for this wonderful post.

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