“Date” Night

Saturday night, the kids weren’t on their best behavior. We were going the rounds, I was counting down the minutes until I could snuggle up with my pillow and sleep, and then my phone rang.
It was my mom.
She wanted to know if grandma and grandpa could take the kids with them to Wal-Mart.

Fifteen minutes later, I was alone with my husband. The night was dark and stormy. Thunder rumbled in the distance. And what did we do?
We chased a giant dragon fly around the house that had flown in while we’d moved the kids’ car seats from our car to Mom’s.
Once we had it trapped, we sat close together and watched it throw itself against the walls of the plastic small animal carrier we’d put it in. Then my husband turned on my computer and googled “what do dragonflies eat?”
After a bit of studying, he caught a few moths and put them in with the dragonfly.
Again, we sat close together.
We fixated on the dragonfly. We watched it open and close it’s mouth, clean it’s face, flap it’s wings, land on it’s back and flail it’s teensy little legs…
We even named our giant dragonfly Kamakazi on account of it’s DIVE BOMBING in our kitchen just seconds prior to our catching it.
And before we knew it, the kids were home.

You have to understand that from head to end, this thing was about 7 to 8 inches long. HUGE.

We let him go the next morning. He didn’t eat any of the moths, and one of his wings had broken from trying so hard to get out.

We had a great time, and the kids loved seeing the dragonfly when they got home. The girl toted him around like a prize. The boy yelled at him.
“You hafta STOP flying else I HAFTA get MAD at you!” He said, pointing a little finger at Kamakazi.

I hope you’re spending your stormy evenings accordingly.

Good Thing

As I was driving two days ago, I was hit suddenly with a wave of “Don’t you realize what you have?”  It happens from time to time, and thank goodness.  I think we all need waves like that just as often as we can get them.

As I grew up, I formed ideas about the person I wanted to spend the rest of my life with.  Though they might seem silly to some -I even had someone POINT OUT to me that they were nonsense -they were important to me.   So important, in fact, that I ended relationships because of them.  Having someone tell me that my ideals were bollocks did a number on me.  I spent a long while reflecting on them, and the more I thought about it, the more my intuition told me to HOLD FAST to them, so I did.

I’m grateful every single day of my life that I did.

Silly?  Maybe to some… but most definitely not to me.  After having them shot down before my very eyes and scrambling to pick them back up, I never talked about my ideals again.  Want to know what they were?  It doesn’t matter now -I’m married, you know.

I wanted a man who didn’t work exclusively in an office. This isn’t to say anything against office-working men. The thing is: I’ve never lived with one, and I knew how to get along with people who spent their day active. I know it sounds shallow, I know that. But the point is: something inside of me spoke to me and told me that I should look for someone who didn’t work in a cubicle. I listened, and guess what? He has a desk at work and he uses it, but only when he has paperwork. Other than that? He’s on the go.

I wanted a man who loved to put his hands in the dirt… someone who would make sure no matter where we lived, we had enough land to plant a garden, however small. From the first year of our marriage, we’ve had a garden. Even when we lived in a TEENSY studio apartment and our landlords let us use a small piece of their garden… it was ours. I once dated a guy who offered me a balcony. You know, for pots and stuff. I gratefully declined. I can grow stuff in the dirt, but in pots? Ha. Still working on that one. My husband has become Supreme Master Gardener, and I love to watch him work. Before the hail storm literally tore our garden apart, my husband spent hours outside, making it look pristine. And yes, “pristine” is the right word. It was beautiful.

I wanted to marry a conservative Republican. The way someone feels about politics speaks volumes about the kind of person they are. Granted, I’ve shifted in the past few years from wanting a “conservative Republican” to just wanting a “conservative,” but let’s not quibble. I’m not huge on politics. I’d rather talk about almost anything else. Almost. I tend to tune-out when politics are brought up, but this I know for sure: I believe what I believe and I really couldn’t live with anyone who didn’t share those beliefs. It would be a huge deal-breaker. And guess what? My conservative husband goes to the polls with me, and we always vote the same and come away with those awesome stickers.

Once I was married, I realized I wasn’t alone in this. There are plenty of other women who have strange by strong ideas about the person they are going to spend their lives with! My mother once told me she could never be with a man whose arm hair was long and black and straight. Have you seen my dad’s arms? Full of curly, burly hair.
“Just like it should be,” my mom told me with a giggle.

A friend I worked with told me once that she ended a relationship before it had begun with a guy whose thighs were smaller than her own.
“After that, I promised myself I would never marry a man whose thighs were smaller than mine.” She held true to it, and has had a great marriage with a man who has bigger thighs than she does.

Why do we feel this way? Why? I think it’s our safety-voice speaking out from inside, letting us know what we would or would not be okay with 5, 10, 45 years in the future.

A few weeks ago, I asked my husband if he ever missed being single. He didn’t even have to THINK about it.
“No, why would I?” He asked, “Wife, kids… I don’t want anything else.”
I also once asked him what dreams he had, something I hadn’t asked him since BEFORE we were married.
“Beyond what I have now? I don’t think I have any, really. I’ve got everything I want.”

Did you HEAR that?! Did you hear the contented man I live with?! Did you know he’s canning jalapenoes with me today? Did you know he completely removed the screen door last night, re-screened it and fixed a few issues and then replaced it? Did you know that he took us out to eat last night because I didn’t WANT to cook? Did you know that he came home from work early yesterday before I had the chance to do anything but get ready for the day and he didn’t say a word except, “You look hot.”
And let me tell you: the house looked BAD.
He cleans our bathroom almost every day.
He puts the kids to bed when I’m too tired.
He eats whatever I cook AND he pays for it too.
He works harder than anyone ever has (equal only to my Dad, who we all know works harder than anyone in the entire world and then some) to make sure I have not just everything I need, but everything I WANT… because he loves me. He doesn’t need any other motivation.

My husband, folks, is genuinely GOOD. He’s a genuinely GOOD MAN.
Despite his many, many, MANY selling points… he isn’t perfect (thank goodness). But you know what? He is PERFECT for me. He was perfect for me when we speed-dated 7 years ago and he’s perfect for me now.
Life has brought us closer together in so many ways, whether it’s in the garden or at the polls.
I never could have known 7 years ago that we’d be able to work so well together as a team today, so I’ll be forever grateful that SOMEONE else did.
I can’t say for sure who it was. Of course, I’d like to say that it was Heavenly Father, but something deep down keeps whispering that it was our great-grandmothers… the ones we found out were best of friends who -even after they each had children of their own -would jump at the chance to stay over at the other’s house so they could stay up all night talking and laughing.
We’ll thank them when we get there. Or maybe name a few kids after them. Dorothy and Georganna are “in” names right now, right?
Babe, I love you. Love, love, love, love, love, LOVE, LOVE, LOVE you forever and ever, forever and ever, forever and ever.