Friday, December 18, 2015

My Husband

We've been married almost nine years, and together for more than thirteen. We have two grade school-aged kids who are just busy as can be with activities. We both work full time. We spend time helping kids with homework, doing housework, and a thousand other little things.

Needless to say, together time is a rare (and much-loved) commodity in our house.

Tonight, my husband showed me a proposal video from Neil Patrick Harris' new show. I watched it with him and at the end laughed a little as I teased him about the day he proposed to me. He didn't plan an elaborate proposal; there were no fake movies at the movie theatre or dropping down to one knee in a restaurant. He gave me the ring at home as we settled down for the night while watching some television. That's just who he is - a very low-key, non-showy guy.

I'm a daydreamer, far more than I should be. I write novels because I have these grand love stories in my head and I'm always talking to him about the next one. There are times when I wish that he was a surprise planning, big gesture guy, but then I get a smile from him and am reminded that who he is is more than enough.

I don't come home to vases full of roses. What I do come home to is a man watering an 10-year-old plant that sits on our back porch stairs in a beat up pot - one which I've forgotten to water for five days in a row. He's the one nursing it back to health, adding new soil and moving it to another place in the yard for better sun, while the other plants in our house fade away and die from neglect (my pinterest ideas are far grander than my gardening capabilities). He does it because that plant is from my mom's funeral, and while I am absent minded and forget to feed it, he does because he knows my heart would be broken if it was gone. 

I don't come home to new clothes picked out for a special date. What I do come home to is a closet full of clothes because he's done the laundry and hung and folded it. Despite being gone more hours each day between work and commute than I am, and running one kid here while I take the other one there, he is the dependable one. While I'm doodling notes on a notepad, he's making sure the washer and dryer keep busy, and says he just wants to make things a little easier for my day.

I don't come home to plane tickets for an adult-only vacation. What I do come home to is a man willing to drive 18 hours in a car with his family after a very long day at a very labor-intensive job, just to accomodate his wife's crazy vacation ideas. A man who let's her plan out every detail and will put up with stopping in random places along the way just so she can see a cafe that was in a movie that she loves. A man who can find fun just about anywhere as long as the people he loves are there.

I don't come home to diamond jewelry for every holiday or occasion. What I do come home to are my favorite things - Frango Mints, Dr. Pepper, Sons of Anarchy, or books about Al Capone - because he's been listening and knows what I love. Diamonds are pretty, but being heard is prettier.

I could go on and on. I sometimes tease him about his level of romance, but the truth is that he is very romantic. He does so much at home and at work to make sure we are taken care of and that we have a good life. I'm glad he doesn't pay attention to the lists of things that are best to get your wife on her birthday or Christmas, or all those crazy pinterest ideas about how to be romantic, because he's already got a pretty good corner on that market. 

I probably don't tell him enough, but I love him to the moon and back. 

The other day, I heard my husband mutter disappointment over how he appeared in a photo and I can honestly say, it broke my heart a little bit. Now in our mid-thirties, of course we don't look how we did 10 or 15 years ago, but he is as perfect now as he was then. 

He might not have a six pack, but that is because his time is not spent at the gym when his kids are home. His gym time happens only a few times a week: when the kids are at school on his off day, and on weekend mornings when he is awake at 5 a.m. from his body clock being so used to getting up even earlier for work.

And I don't know that I could find a harder working man. He doesn't just do his job; he really likes and believes in what he does. He is out with customers all day, carrying heavy items and doing a job so many would balk at. He drives an hour (at least) commute each way and works 10+ hour days four days a week, and then comes home and still cooks for his family.

When he sees a dirty dish, he washes it. When laundry is getting too piled up, he does it. When kids need to get shuffled here or there and I've forgotten to remind him I have a conflict, he doesn't complain.

And sometimes, he has to deal with me and my frustration that we don't get time to be a couple much. We're wired much differently. I'm a romantic; his idea of romance is doing all the dishes so I don't have to. I'm always coming up with some craft project; he's the one cleaning up scraps of paper from all over the floor. I like the Cubs; he likes that other Chicago team. And sometimes, in the grand scheme of life, we end up frustrated with each other over silly things.

No, he doesn't have the body he did 13 years ago - but neither do I. (Oh, how I wish I was as "fat" as I thought I was then!) I look at him at least once a day and smile because his handsomeness takes my breath away. Still. Every time. His eyes light up when he talks about something he's passionate about. His laugh makes me look away from whatever else I might be doing because it's so heart-filled. And at night when he wraps his arms around me when we go to sleep, I realize all over again how lucky I am to have found someone I love so much, and sometimes I still can't believe that he chooses me. 

We have our arguments and we have our date nights (and sometimes, though not often, those go together!) but I could not ask for a stronger, smarter, sweeter man than I have found in him. So babe, no, we may not look like we did - but there's no one I find more beautiful than you.


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