I learned things in Mass today. Kids always need Kleenex when you forget to bring the box. Kneeling can lead to knapping. At least one out of sixteen kids will have to go the the bathroom in church even if they all went a half hour before.
And today, I learned, is the Feast of Saint Joseph as the husband of Mary. As the priest began to talk about it, I stopped my glaring at talky kids, put down the hymnal I had just taken away from someone who was wearing it as a hat, and I listened.
Apparently Joseph was known to be a quiet man. He married a woman who was pregnant even though he could have run away from it. He was a role model for a son who wasn’t his. He was an admirable man. It occurred to me this morning that this guy sounded really familiar.
When I met Gregg, I knew right away that for the first time in my life, I had gone on a date with an actual grown-up man. For seven years I had been back the world of dating, and I had picked up exactly where I had left off at the age of 21 – dating guys who played video games and drank too much. But Gregg was, well, different. I loved listening to him talk about education. He expressed so much dedication to his profession, a profession in which I was just a rookie. Gregg did things like spend time with his family and pay bills, and these were qualities rarely found in single men.
I fell in love with this grown man for his admirable qualities as well as his desirable ones. He rocked my world with a first kiss on our second date. In 41 years, I had not known the absolute magic that came from being kissed by the absolute right man. He walked me to my door, took me in his arms, and kissed me the way I had dreamed of a man kissing me since I was in the fifth grade. I went weak. I, a fiercely stubborn single mother who put herself through college and worked to have a house and raise two kids, felt my knees buckle. One kiss, and he left. I went inside, slid down my front door, and knew I was in love.
But it is what came after – what he has shown me in the last four years – that make me positive that he is the right man for me. He committed to me and my children fully, without blinking. He has shown my sons what a being a loyal, responsible man is about. He has provided for us financially, he has fixed our cars, and while he has given us our own space, he has been present for us first and foremost. As a matter of fact, it was summed up for me last night when he congratulated Logan for the athletic awards he had won. Gregg was there at the awards banquet, taking pictures, and was really interested in looking at the plaques and pins he had earned. I heard him privately tell Logan how proud he was of him. My heart swelled with pride for both of them.
Gregg may not be sainted like Joseph, but in the words of Salt and/or Pepa, what a man, what a man, what a man, what a mighty good man.