Thursday, April 19, 2007

Why I Love My Husband

Today Catholic Exchange is running a column I originally ran in called "St. Sassika and the Girls," about how my husband supported my efforts to get my MA.Theo. for the first few years after the kids came to us. Actually, my husband is unfailingly supportive in almost every endeavor I have ever attempted, no matter how much it impinged on his personal freedom.

It's one of the many reasons I love him. The guy was custom-designed just for me. God knew what I needed and *BOOM* ... It took only 35 years for me to find him. (A subject for another time.)

As I return from Tony Benkovic's funeral, my husband has been holding down the fort for three days. It has not been a walk in the park ... but he did it for me because he loves me and because he knows how much I love Johnnette. And so, when I decided to move my "Father's Day Tribute" off the "Silent Canticle" site (since it's not specifically related to Canticle) I decided to put it here because ... Well, just because I could not do what I do, if my husband were not the kind of man he is. And so, without further ado .... My "Father's Day Tribute."

The Valentine's Day of our engagement, I wanted to give Craig something that would let him know just how special I thought he was (and is), and how lucky I felt to be with him. For three days I spent every spare minute at my computer, to come up with a list of 100 reasons why I love him. (The list could have been much longer, but the writer in me wouldn't allow any of them to sound too similar or too trite.)

Seven years later, as I look over that list, I realize how much we both have grown. And I realize that we have Christopher and Sarah to thank for it. Because of them, Craig and I learned to focus on each other and depend on each other in ways we had never had reason to before. And (speaking for myself only) I came to appreciate the fact that, no matter how difficult it is to live with me in particular and in the family in general, he always comes back for more.

That's love. That's a real father.

And so, for my Father's Day gift to you, I'd like to share with the world twelve more reasons I'm glad you're my husband, and the father of our children.

* Because you are so concerned that I enjoy the lilac bushes you bought for me as much as possible, you take three days to find just the right spot before you actually dig the hole and plant them. And you don't tell me to shut my yap when I get impatient after the first day.

* Because you don't take it personally when the kids insist, "We don't want you. We want MOM!" after not having seen them all day -- and for believing me when I say that, on nights you come home late, they get all ornery because they miss you.

* Because you have never rolled your eyes or told me to get a grip when I get a migraine -- not even when it's the third day in a row, and I shriek like a fishwife for everyone to just GO AWAY!

* Because even when you had only an hour of daylight and three other projects going (two of them work-related), you kept your promise to Christopher and took him fishing.

* Because your response to my occasional bout of overspending is not a stern lecture, but a redoubled effort to work a little extra overtime to pad the family bank account.

* Because even though you bring home most of the money, you make sure I have the time I need to keep my career simmering along as well.

* Because you remind me, again and again, to get that checkup.

* Because you look so cute when you nap before bed -- just like your father. And then you get up and do your hour-long ritual to get READY for bed, and climb back into bed so stealthily that only part of me goes airborne.

* Because you let me hold the remote in one hand, and a Mike's Limeade (frozen 90 minutes) in the other after a really long day.

* Because you don't get mad when I rope you into church events without even asking first. (Did I mention you get to wear a toga this year in front of 200 kids?)

* Because when I remind you of the same five items that have been on your "honey-do" list for the past year, you don't retort that I haven't scrubbed the kitchen floor in its entirety since we built the house, and that I still haven't learned to wash pots and pans by hand.

* Because when I'm feeling fragile and/or overwhelmed, you always sound a little surprised when I ask if you're still glad I married you. "Why, I'm the luckiest guy in the world," you say, with that cute little twinkle in your eye. And you pull me to your chest, and wrap me up tight in your arms, and the awful world goes away and I am safe at last. And in that moment, no matter what else has happened that day, I feel like the luckiest woman of all.

Happy Father's Day, Sweetheart.

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