But I did ask. And then I typed a phrase I dread hearing, "Some kid is going to be really lucky to have you as a parent."
I hate that phrase, and its derivatives, because it usually leads into a value-judgement about the birth family. Or it turns into a discussion about race, with the obligatory, "you know what I mean (wink)," thrown in at the end of an awkward sentence followed by me responding that I don't. Fortunately, that conversation has only happened a few times and only with people I don't normally associate with.
Do I overthink this sometimes? Absolutely. Most people mean no harm when they said it to me, or tell me how lucky The Kid is now. In fact, I believe they were saying it to me before because they meant to comfort Gladys and I, and they say it now because they believe we are good parents.
But the phrase can be a gateway to stiff conversation, the kind that leaves me fuming. And it ignores the one basic truth that gets overlooked, how much Gladys and I wanted to be parents.
Frankly, I am the lucky one. Everyday The Kid blows me a kiss goodbye on my way to work, I know I'm the lucky one. When I pick her up from daycare and she yells, "MY PAPA!" as she runs to me at full speed, I know I'm the lucky one. When she pours water from her cup into mine because she thinks I need more water, I know I'm the lucky one (even though I'm a little grossed out when she does it). When she falls asleep in my arms because she's too pooped to go another step, I know I'm the lucky one. When The Kid insists on holding both Mommy and Papa's hands when we are walking through the parking lot of our apartment building, I know I'm the lucky one.
My friend responded to me in the best way possible.
"I feel like we will be the lucky ones," he said.
I know exactly what he means.