My favorite mistake is sleeping on the couch wearing a pair of khaki shorts and a Milwaukee Brewers sweatshirt.

When I tell people that we’d only known each other a few months when we married 30 years ago, deciding on one Tuesday to get married the following Tuesday, they think it’s an amazing love story. What it was was just pure recklessness. Two people making a decision, each for their own private reasons, with no real thought to the future.

It was almost like an arranged marriage, the two of us matched by some unseen force and only introduced to each other the day before. Here, fate said to us, marry each other and make something out of it. I remember waking up the next morning and thinking, ‘I can’t believe I did this.’

That this man would immediately become the stepfather of my 11-year old daughter had only marginally occurred to me. Looking at the few pictures of our wedding in the judge’s chambers in the county courthouse, the expression on her face confirmed that she had absorbed this monumental fact even if I hadn’t. I was so tired of life alone, life undependable, life unhappy. I was thinking of myself when I married this man. I was betting on happiness.

It never occurred to me that we would have three more children and that they would all be orphans from Nicaragua. Or that my husband would figure out how to be a father to all four of our kids, each with other fathers before him. Or that the man I married out of hopelessness about the future would be the person who would make hope and happiness and looking to the future practical things, things our family could have and do, things that were no longer for just other people, but for us.

It turned out to be an amazing love story.

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Posted in response to The Daily Post prompt: what is your favorite mistake?

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