My oldest daughter, Rachel, was born amazing. She was 2 minutes old when she looked right into my eyes, cooed, and stole my heart. As she grew, she astounded her mother and I when she was able to mimic nearly every animal in the zoo at 9-months old. She walked and talked early and was a complete joy. As she got older, she became a nervous over-achiever but eventually relaxed enough to become a free spirit, unfettered by normal expectations or conventions. In my mind, she was perfect.

Then she met Danny. Danny was not my son. I never saw him grow up. I knew little about him. All I knew is that he wanted my daughter—for himself! It was a long courtship and Danny deftly won his way into the family’s heart and soul. But he didn’t take on our last name; in fact, Rachel took on his.

Since the day Danny took away my perfect daughter, I see her as a more complete person. You see, my daughter was an Eight-Cow Woman, and Danny was an Eight-Cow Man. Together they form a union that defines them both. Now, when I think of my daughter, I see her with Danny. They are united, inseparable. Danny is like my son, but not really. He is more like my daughters’ other half. To say that I am proud of both of them, of course, would be an understatement.

When I envision relationships that define The Eight-Cow Relationship, I think of Rachel and Danny. I believe they were as good as two halves could be as individuals. However, together they form a nearly perfect whole. I am sure they have their problems but they work through them together, with love and eight cows.

Note: I will brag about my daughter Jessica and Robert later. I am equally proud of them.