Praying for Crooked Ponytails

“Where’s your dad?” Cal’s friend once asked her while on a play date. There was nothing mean-spirited about the question. It was just one 7-year-old asking another in a curious “My dad’s at work, where’s your dad?” kind of way.

Very matter-of-factly, Cal replied, “I don’t have a dad. If my mommy gets married, then I’ll have one.”

Cal didn’t bring it up for the rest of the afternoon, but at bedtime, she said God wanted to know when I was getting married.

“God…or you?”

“I guess me. Maybe I can pray about it.”

I didn’t know what to tell her. So I said it would be okay to talk to God about wanting a dad, even though I didn’t really believe I could meet a great man or that I would ever get married.

A few months later, my very own modern-day cupid, Myspace, brought me Harv. We got married after dating for only 18 days. Sometimes, people ask how I could have been so thoughtless by marrying a man so quickly when I was a single mom. “Single moms really need to think about these things, you know.”

I do know.

Cal didn’t call Harv “dad” right away. She called him Harv. They got to know each other. They did some math problems together. He impressed her by getting the correct answers. She gave me a “thumbs up” for picking a math whiz.

Harv adopted Cal last year. We told Cal she could wear whatever she wanted for the adoption hearing. She said that the floral print dress in her closet would be fine, but could she have a pair of white kid gloves? That’s what she wore throughout the ceremony. Afterwards, she admitted her hands had gotten really sweaty and uncomfortable. “It was okay though. They looked really good on me.”

We all share the same last name. Cal adores her dad.

This morning, I was acting like a big baby because of allergies. Harv told me to stay in bed and that he would get Cal ready for school. I watched him brush her hair into the saddest ponytail I have even seen. It was crooked and not all the hair made it in. When he was done, Cal turned to me. “See, mommy, I told you it would work if I prayed.”

I didn’t realize she remembered that conversation from so many years ago. She credits herself for Harv. I’ll let her have the credit.

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