Last night, after getting the kids home from school and doing all the stuff it takes to get everyone settled and happy for a bit, I cooked a little supper (lentil tacos and spicy honey roasted corn kernels and hominy -- mmmm). I am trying to learn to cook meatless more often, and it turns out that I don't miss meat all that much, at least for a few nights each week. After Chris made it home and we had eaten, I started in on the dishes. Worst part of cooking, hands down. Boo!
But then, I watched what unfolded, and I immediately paused to say a little prayer of thanks. Here's what I saw:
Chris saw me head to the sink and he simply started getting the kids ready for bed; all the steps involved take quite a while, and he knew that if he waited, bedtime would get later and later, which would set us up for a tougher time tomorrow. So, he helped everyone get clean, use the restroom-- more complicated than it sounds for a kid with SB -- take their medicine and breathing treatments, get in their pajamas, and settle down on the couch.
Not even a hiccup. He didn't stop to question whether this was a man's work or even his responsibility. Two jobs needed to be done. And there are two of us. So, duh.
Sadly, I know that this act of partnership is not so commonplace in many families, and I am sometimes smart enough to be thankful for it.
The night went on, and while I was exhausted and had kissed everyone goodnight, he said their prayers with them all, tucked in the boys, and helped Ellie with her devotional Bible reading, while I took a hot bath.
Dude, do I have it good!
He poked his head into the bathroom to say, "I noticed the grocery list is getting a little long. I will run to Walmart while you relax. Love you."
All this, after he's worked all day, and driven an hour one way to do so.
All this, while also being a model of health and an active lifestyle for our family. He is teaching our kids to take good care of their bodies, so they will take care of them later in life. He even went running in the cold, muddy weather on his lunch break that day. Yes, he did it barefooted, which is just eww. But still!
All this, after 11 years of marriage. We celebrated our anniversary last week, and I totally get it now when people say sappily, "I love him even more today."
All this, when a lot of dads would be watching TV, fiddling in the garage, planning their next hunting trip, or just doing their own thing.
He is my partner. He knows we are a team.
Without a husband, it would be very difficult to manage parenting and working outside of the home. But I also shudder to think of doing this with a husband who, unlike Chris, is not as invested in the lives of our children and the making of our home as I am.
It seems common sense, and it should be. I am so very thankful that I have a partner in life, who respects and loves me. Who gets it. Who knows that no matter what others believe about gender roles and chains of command and all of that nonsense, when the going gets tough, tough guys can change a diaper, do the shopping, bathe a wriggly toddler, unload the dishwasher, or paint toenails with the best of 'em.
All this, and good-looking, too!
All this, and he keeps us laughing along the way.
Last night, I felt like Maria, singing to Captain Von Trapp in the garden:
"Somewhere in my wicked, miserable past, There must have been a moment of truth. For here you are, standing there, loving me, whether or not you should. So, somewhere in my youth or childhood, I must have done something good!"