Sunday is Father’s Day. The Ravens jersey that I ordered for The Husband will be arriving sometime tomorrow. I’m going to make sure that he sleeps in tomorrow and Sunday, and all he’s asked for is for two hours to watch a movie without baby or wife interruption. I’m looking forward to starting his Saturday with buttermilk pancakes and his Sunday with Eggs Benedict. He’s getting a whole day with the kids on Saturday (He says he’s excited about, but, studies show…) but then I’ll make sure he has an easy day on Sunday. All in all, I think it’s going to be a great weekend.
The Husband and I will celebrate our fifth wedding anniversary in October. We’ve been a couple for eleven years, which seems so impossible. When I think about what we’ve done as individuals and as a couple in this amount of time, I get a little dizzy. I feel like we would have been capable of accomplishing our various achievements as single individuals, but it was so much easier and more fun doing them together.
I started this week writing about my Father, a man who I have an equal amount of anger and admiration for. I also told you that I fell right into Freud’s trap: In marrying my husband, I married my father. But the best parts of him. I managed to find all of the best qualities of my father in my husband. What is amazing about The Husband, though, is that he is also more of a “traditional” man than my father is.
If you could write the two of us down on paper, my husband and I probably wouldn’t win any matching contest. My husband is a pretty conservative man. We have very deep, deep disagreements about various issues, including gun control and abortion, two subjects we’ve never been able to talk about without fireworks. He says he doesn’t “understand” feminism, which is a problem, because I’m kinda a feminist. He can’t watch movies unless it’s absolutely silent…so we haven’t been to the theater to see a movie in years. He is very religious, but thankfully not stiflingly so. My husband does more math in twenty minutes of his day than I have done in the entirety of my life. Though he hasn’t paid his dues since we started dating, my husband has an NRA card in his wallet. He hates the freaking beach and he hates fishing, too, which is like, how could you possibly hate that?? He is also really picky about technology stuff. At has to be this cord or that aspect or this brand…and he’s very stubborn about doing things himself when he doesn’t have to. He doesn’t follow directions, much performing a freaking oldschool map. He’s the kind of guy who, when I give him a vision, his first reaction is to say “no” or give the most conservative scenario possible for figuring out a solution. He’s always bumming me out that way. We’re always quibbling over the possible and the probable.
He’s an Eagle Scout and loves hiking. He knows his way around a tool box. He’s figured out a way to work with his mind and his hands every day through engineering (I can’t think of anything sexier). He knows how to drive stick and practically rebuilt an ’82 Corvette with his father (using the schematics and what what). He knows how to ring bells, and actually spent time volunteering at the National Cathedral to learn how to ring the bells there. He plays the piano and played trombone for marching band in high school and college. He knows more about music and what makes music work than I could ever care to know. He loves and appreciates old Black music. He funks out to Parliament Funkadelic the way that my father used to when I was younger. He knows a lot about a lot of things, picking and choosing the most random of subjects to be interested in. He takes all of my shit, especially when I’m talking smack about oppression and other such stuff, basically blaming him for everything from the sinking of the Titanic to the prominence of Fox News. He gives just as good as he gets. He’s extremely shy, utterly driven (perfect straight A’s from high school through his Ph.D. program), he is consistent to a fault.
After these 7 years of living together, I can now also say that he can make a damned good breakfast! We’re working on the coffee, though…He hasn’t caught the magic for that one yet.
He’s freaking perfect. He’s just about too good for me. He refuses to believe it, but it’s true.
I’m so grateful to have a stable marriage and strong partnership with my husband because I know that, of all of the gifts that I can give my sons, this is probably the best thing I can give to them. Seeing us work together, laugh together, fight each other, love each other gives them a sense of stability that cannot be found anywhere else. Every time my husband drives me crazy (which is more often than not), go back to the bedrock and appreciate what he does for me, who is is to me, what we are for each other. Becoming a father has only made my husband a better man and seeing him with my sons every day has confirmed for me what I knew eleven years ago: Getting together with that nerdy math kid in high school was the best decision I ever made.
Of all of the things that my sons will learn from their father, from putting together legos to driving their first car and all of the millions of things in between, I know that the true and profound thing that he will teach them is consistency, stability, and quiet confidence. My husband knows who he is. He knows where he is from and he knows where he is going. He is a true man in that his strength is truly intrinsic and he draws from an awesome power that only he could hone. To see that power come through as he plays with the boys, as he changes their diapers, as he adjusts those damned car seats, as he does the things that men do is a pleasure that only a wife can fully appreciate.
I’m not going to tell you that my marriage is perfect. There have been multiple moments, before and after we took our vows, when I deeply and sincerely considered ending this relationship. I never expect perfection: It’s subjective, it’s illusive, it’s ever changing, it’s impossible. But I will tell you, on this Friday before Father’s Day, that I’m grateful. It takes bravery to step outside of yourself in commitment to another. It takes audacity, reverence and a little bit of insanity to choose to raise children with another person. My sons, though surprises both, were still “fearfully and wonderfully made.” I know that I cannot raise them (well) without their father, and I’m grateful that he’s a good man who is up for the task.
I hope that, if you can, you take the time to call your father (or father figure) this weekend. These opportunities, like so many others, are limited in time. There will be a day when I will take up in a world without my father in it. For all of the things that he is and all of the things that he has done, I know that that world will be very empty. I have to enjoy my current world for as long as I can, and thus, I’ll be calling my father this weekend (and likely arguing with him about the NSA phone banking). And though Father’s Day is for children to appreciate their fathers, I know that wives do a lot of the work to make it go well–so for all of you moms out there who will be doing a lot of cooking, cleaning and indulging this weekend, I hope that all plans go well!