Here’s what happens to me in the morning: I wake up, and I hear my partner and my kid in the bathroom. He’s brushing her hair in front of the mirror, and talking to her about her day — I forget what, but I stand there for a while, in my robe, watching him speak softly to her and nod encouragingly at her little stories and brush her hair without causing her to riot and scream and smack the brush out of his hand, which is what she always does with me.
He’s so good with her. I didn’t grow up in a family where men were expected, or even allowed, to be good with kids. I was good with them, supposedly, and I always secretly thought that if I had a kid I would be a single parent — why hand half the authority over to someone who won’t do even half the work? — but he’s better than I am. I stand there and watch the miracle play out, and then I go downstairs for coffee.