When I first met my husband, I nearly dismissed him. He was the most handsome man in the room, and handsome men (in my experience) don’t have personalities. They don’t need them. They only have to walk into a room, and someone pulls them out a chair, lights their cigar, and then watches raptly as they sit there being handsome.
We dated five years. Friends took bets on whether we’d marry. I bet no. I’d been married before, and hadn’t been skilled at it. Next September, it will be 20 years. He’s still handsome.
When my son told me he’d met a young widow with five children (including a set of triplets), I did my best to convince him that this could not be a long-term relationship, that he was too young, that step-parenting requires finesse.
So they got married, and I danced so hard at their wedding I broke my foot. And I love my daughter-in-law and the children so much that I have to remind myself not to hug them too hard.
When my son told me they’d have no more children, I assured him that our bloodline is not necessarily something that must continue, that the five children are plenty fabulous.
So they got pregnant. With twins. And there in the NICU, I bent over to look at the boy-child and he turned his head and opened his eyes, and I saw in his face the face of my father. First, I grinned, and then I burst into tears.
On getting along: You can acquire all the college degrees you want. You can gain a reputation for being practical and intelligent. But when it comes to getting along? You don’t know squat. Life is here to teach you. Shut up and listen.
Susan Campbell is the author of “Dating Jesus,” and the upcoming biography, “Tempest-Tossed: The Spirit of Isabella Beecher Hooker.” For more than a quarter-century, she was a columnist at the Hartford Courant. Her column about the shootings at lottery headquarters in March 1998 was part of The Courant’s Pulitzer Prize-winning coverage.
The mother of two adult sons, and the grandmother of seven, she has a bachelor’s degree from University of Maryland, and a master’s degree from Hartford Seminary, and she lives in Connecticut with her husband. And she thinks Tom’s bio is much funnier.