One of the weird things about growing up is that you don't often get your family to yourself. One of the mixed blessings of having rheumatoid arthritis, is that if you play it right, you can fix that. Allow me to explain...
Kev and I have known each other since I was fourteen and he sixteen. As soon as he got his driver's license, he would drop by my house at odd times. Right after school. On weekends. 8:00 at night, it didn't matter. It wasn't too long before my parents just accepted him as a normal fixture in our home. When we started dating nine years later, it is entirely possible that he and I were the only two surprised by the outcome.
Now, after two and a half years of marriage, Kev is nearly always by my side when I spend time with my family. We live an hour south of them, and while we try to go home for major events, it's almost always accompanied by my siblings, grandparents, or cousins. While I love this, it makes it kind of rare for us to get some quality couple-to-couple time with my parents. Rarer still are the opportunities to spend time just with my mom or dad. Or just me and my parents. Etc, etc.
After my two year anniversary of my RA diagnosis, I began wheedling my dad into getting checked out by my arthritis doctor. My dad exhibits many of the same symptoms I do, and it seems to be getting worse with age. Finally, I convinced him to go. A few days later, he called me excitedly. "Colie," he gushed, "I got the appointment RIGHT AFTER YOURS for my follow-up! How cool is that?" At the time, I merely laughed. We would certainly be the two youngest people in the waiting room. Maybe we could even get a discount. BOGO? Twofer?
The appointment finally rolled around last night, and I have to admit it was pretty awesome. My dad and I got to hang out in the waiting room together, and catch up on life. My dad sat in on my appointment. As a pediatrician, it meant a lot to have him listen to what the doc was telling me, rather than regurgitating it to him on the phone days later. Afterwards, we went to dinner. We laughed, we joked. Just my daddy and me.
I've been a proud daddy's girl for most of my life. I'm so blessed to have him in my life, and today I find myself strangely grateful to my chronic pain disease for giving me the chance to get him all to myself. Just my daddy and me.