It fits well with Valentine’s Day, full of starry eyed wonder and Sappily-Ever-After… But the real life version is more gritty and down to earth than anything printed on frilly wedding programs. It’s more diapers and disagreements than mushy romance. At least in our house…
is changing the 8,647th pull up and repeating one more time that big girls pee on the potty
is laughing at the same joke like it’s the first time, and not the 31st time he’s heard it
is getting out of bed early to scrape the windshield and warm up the car
climbing into bed with your little sister and playing “snoring duck” when she’s having a rough night
says, “Enjoy a weekend away with your friends. You deserve it. I can go to the game another time.”
bakes cookies for her little sister’s sleepover, then stays out of her way for the evening
…does not envy.
harnesses years of “real” writing experience to play editor and cheerleader for his wife’s blog
says nothing about 3 years of perfect spelling tests, but celebrates her sister’s good grade
…does not boast.
makes the first move to apologize and try to understand where he went wrong, even when it probably had more to do with the time of month than anything else
wears a wig and tiara to play the evil princess at his daughter’s birthday party
…is not proud.
listens when she is frustrated with her crazy family, but knows better than to agree too emphatically or say ANYTHING bad about the in-laws
…does not dishonour others.
plays the same silly game with her sister over and over and over and over again, just to make her laugh
makes all the hard calls because his wife has an irrational aversion to talking on the telephone
…is not self seeking.
shrugs her shoulders and sighs, “Oh well” when the baby gets into her stuff, yet again
…is not easily angered.
says, “Honey, I’m just glad that you’re okay. That’s all that really matters.” when she dents the van, AGAIN
also when she gets ANOTHER parking ticket
and when she screws up the budget by charging something to the wrong account, for the THIRD time that month
…keeps no record of wrongs.
says, “Be happy! Mmm-happy!” and encourages hugs and kisses all around when her big sisters are fighting
…does not delight in evil, but rejoices in the truth.
tells their friends, “She’s so smart and doing really well. She has Down Syndrome and that’s hard work.”
checks the locks at least twice before bed each night, just to be sure
puts his wife to bed and takes over when the flu starts winning the fight
hands over the reigns when it’s time to buy school supplies, clothes, Christmas presents, groceries and pretty much anything the family needs, even though his instincts are telling him to hide every penny away for a rainy day
(a rainy day may or may not be code for “a really cool concert”)
buys a single rose for each of his daughters on Valentine’s Day
takes each of them out for breakfast on their birthday
and treats them with love and respect every day in between, so that one day they will expect the man in their life to do the same
is 20 years of the good times, the bad fights and the ugly cry… and still going strong
Love never fails.
I see it in the four faces that surround me every day. We are not perfect, not even close.
But when we choose to love each other, it’s always seems to work out.