“I met a young girl and she gave me a rainbow.”
Bob Dylan, A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall
“Are you a ‘cool cloth diaper dad?'”
What was that? I had to clean out my ears when my wife asked me that question after I came home this evening from my latest towing call. Apparently, that was a title of a recent blog post from somewhere in the blogging world. I really honestly didn’t know the answer to this question. So it got me thinking, “Am I a cool cloth diaper dad?” That’s a haunting question. What if I’m not?
That’s what I love about my wife- she always surprises me in some measure and on a frequent basis. Questions are fun. “Do you know what day it is?” That’s a personal favorite of mine. She asked me that chestnut this morning before I headed out the door, slightly caffeinated. My back was turned and I was downing my second cup of coffee in one gulp when the question hit my ears. I froze. Time stopped. The Sun seemed to stay in place just like it did for Joshua (if only in my brain). I went through a cataloged list of possible answers, starting with the most important ones.
Then in a clumsy eye blink, not even a twinkling, I thought, “OK, it’s Wednesday.” No, dumb answer! Think, think, think! Keep it together, man! “It’s,” I finally said, more in the form of a question than a confident answer, “trash day.” “Good job!” she exclaimed.That right there, my potential readers, was a good moment, a moment totally made possible by my wife. She only gave me the test answer the previous evening. Little things like that go a long way towards keeping a man on his toes.
I often do not express, in actions, those inexpressible absolutes I have towards my woman; I reckon that’s a lifelong directive. But it ought to be an every day one as well. We’ve been married for almost seven years, and I still can’t keep myself from thinking, “Why did she marry me?” I met her when she was 19 and I was 20. I couldn’t say more than a few words to her nor she to me, but that was all right. When she said that one word when I asked her (not “axed” her) to tie the ol’ knot with me, culminating with those two words at our wedding ceremony, I felt some of what God must enjoy when we take delight in Him in response to His love toward us.
Cloth diapering is a game changer once you have kids and you make the commitment to get your hands even dirtier. You really have to want to save money and love your children in a special sort of way to start it. Once you get going, or once your wife gets the green light and plans it all out and does all the footwork, and you have all the diaper fixings, domesticity amps up another notch. A husband inevitably gets pulled into the subculture of CD (cloth diapers, for the uninitiated) and all the cool vernacular. Terms like, “Fluff,” “All-in-Ones,” “Fitted,” “Wet Bags,” “Micro-fiber,” “Bamboo,” “Pockets,” and “Stripping” can catch a guy off guard. So you have to pay attention to those things. Context is everything.
Here is my confession which I obviously freely lay before you, potential blog readers. Here is my Ebenezer, if you will. I like cloth diapering. Not just because I get to dunk dirty disgusting “pre-folds” and their PUL covers in a toilet when I don’t forget to, but because I genuinely think it’s a good idea. It saves money, it apparently is good for the environment, it hasn’t given any of our children rashes, and my wife gets to use her ingenuity and creativity when she sews stuff up or picks out a new cover. So am I a “cool cloth diaper dad”? Honestly, I don’t know how cool I am. I just found out a couple years ago what a hipster is for crimeny sakes. I am a husband, and a dad, and I happen to change diapers made of cloth. And I wash my hands with hot, soapy water. Usually twice on certain occasions.
Most of all, I love my wife.