Anniversary no. 15

At this time on August 17, 2002, I was drinking lots of wine and groovin’ on the dance floor in my gym shoes and wedding dress. 

Fifteen years later, I am making pb&j sandwiches for the kids’ school lunch and running to the pet store for another bag of crickets to feed the gecko.  

I did score a quick kiss from my hubby, however, before he ran out the door to help with Mario’s football practice. 

And I cooked him up some pasta with fresh tomatoes and olive oil at 8:30 pm after we’d picked up the kids from practice and taken out the trash and put away the dishes from the past day. We sat together for 20 minutes and caught up on our days before heading up to give the kids’ goodnight hugs. 

Yea, that’s how we roll anymore. But damn if we could imagine life any other way but than the messy, hectic, hilarious way it is right now. We are partners through it all. There have been numerous times when we were pissed at one another to the point we thought “why did I choose this jacka– to be with forever?!” but we knew – even in that frustration – that there is no one else we’d rather be with in this life.  The laughter and connection and love far outweighs any momentary pissiness. 

So, here’s to 15 more years, babe, and fifteen more after that and fifteen more…. I am grateful our lives crossed and we decided to walk through this lifetime together.

Mr. Mom

A few days ago, Jon took Mario to his eye doctor appointment at 8:30 am and then took Maria to her dentist appointment at 3:20 in the afternoon because I got caught up in work. When we both had a chance to sit on the bed and talk for two minutes (while the kids showered), he chuckled “I was Mr. Mom today.” I immediately hurled that comment back at him. “Really? Mr. Mom? I do this all the time when you are gone!”

It was a knee-jerk reaction. Something I’m used to laughing/lamenting about with my girlfriends (“he does the dishes and its a big deal”; “he gives the kids a bath and he’s a savior”). After all, who hasn’t read studies in ten different articles on how much more housework and kid-work women typically do over men?

And Jon would completely agree that our situation confirms those studies.
But we make it work. I love running around outdoors with the kids, and would much prefer that over taking the cars in for oil changes, which Jon gladly does. I love mowing the grass and washing the floors over paying the bills on-line and heading to the bank, which Jon would much prefer. Are there times I am annoyed at him for not folding laundry? Yep. But are there times he has no desire to drive to the library to return the videos? Yep. We know each others’ strengths and preferred activities and have an unwritten rule as to who typically does what.

Jon’s reaction that night was not so much one of anger and defensiveness as it was hurt. He simply wanted me to acknowledge what he had done – moved meetings all around in order to take Mario to the doctor for an hour and a half, drive him to school for an always less-than-pleasant drop off, drive to work, drive to Ri’s school and take her to the dentist, and head back to work. Not so much to ask. I’d be looking for the same acknowledgment if I was him.

And, he would have given it to me. He’s the first one to tell me and anyone else in the room that I’m a rock star and that I’m the best mom and wife ever. He tells it to me all the time. So put away the studies and the stereotypes for a minute and stick with the basic human need to feel appreciated. That goes a long way in a marriage… and friendship.

Yesterday morning, I had to be at a 7:30 am meeting so Jon had to take the kids to school. He did not complain about it even though I know he was stressed with work and other issues.

So tonight, when we finally get a chance to sit down together and talk about our day, I will definitely make sure to address him as “Mr. Mom.”

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Top Ten reasons I love my man on Father’s Day

10. He s our protector!  There is no one or no thing that will mess wth us when he is near us.  Example: he took me to a Prince concert years ago, got me near the stage to dance, and played bodyguard the entire time to make sure no one messed with me. 

9. He loves family.  He would do anything for family, and always gives his two cents on matters to try to help family members through binds.  He gets so excited on days that we are heading to family gatherings.  Example: when we hosted my cousin’s graduation party, he woke up bright and early and began preparing food and drink with a big ol’ smile on his face.

8. He cracks us up.  I laugh harder with him than I do with any other human being.  And the kids find him hilarious, too.  Example: I have never heard Maria laugh as hard as when she is with Jon.  Her face gets super red, her smile is huge, and her entire body shakes in pleasure. 

7. He is so patient (and I am so not).  He helps me slow down and take a breath and savor a moment here and there.  Example: he makes me calm down and savor the “down time” while we are standing in Kroger’s check-out line and I start to get irritated that other lines are moving faster.

6. He is good-hearted.  If someone is in need – be it family, a friend, or a homeless guy on the street – he will lend an ear to talk with them and help them out.  Example: he saw a homeless man when he was on his way to Target and the homeless man kept talking to him about his life story.  Jon just listened and when the homeless man stopped talking and asked for a little help, Jon handed him $20. 

5. He is generous.  He takes time out of busy days to visit family and friends.  He doesn’t think twice about helping out family members in need, friends down on their luck, or the homeless person on the corner.  Example: when a family member ran into some hard times, Jon approached me and recommended that we give her some money to help her through the rough time.

4. He is STRONG. As many times as we play fight, I ahve never won a match.  He can pick up heavy machinery, mounds of trach, and even a car, I believe.  He hasn’t worked out at a gym since we dated years ago, but his calves and thigs and biceps are still bulging with muscle.  Example: when we go out, people ask him if he’s a football player!  Hot!

3. He is my number one supporter.  When we go out with friends, he always has a story about how I won a race or ran 10 miles or biked up major hills.  I always know he backs me up in all that I do.  Example: when I completed the marathon, he bragged to people that I had barely trained but I finished the marathon.  He believes in me. 

2. He is a superstar husband.  He surprises me with lottery tickets.  He fixes my bike when it breaks.  He massages my legs when I am sore.  He always listens to me when I am dealing with a problem.  He stands by me no matter if he agrees with my decision or not.  He tells me he loves me every day.  He watches the kids while I take a much-needed run.  Example: when I accidentally scheduled an excursion to a pipeline field in Alaska and we stayed in a work trailer for two days of our honeymoon, he didn’t divorce me, and he even laughed about it with me (six months later!).

1.  He is an incredible father.  The kids think he is the most awesome person on this Earth, and when he goes on business trips, they whine every morning that they wish he was home.  He is not shy about telling them that he loves them at least three times a day. He wrestles with Mario and plays Memory with Maria.  He makes sure that they have everything they need.  He spoils them with books and toys.  Example: every night before bed, he makes sure he gives them both uge hugs and kisses and tells them that he loves them.  A true gift from a dad to a child.

Summer’s Last Hoorah

I could not believe my eyes when I saw 98 degrees beaming from the Barnes and Noble sign outside of my office.  Isn’t it September?  I tried to walk very slowly to a meeting out of my office about five blocks away in order to avoid serious sweat pores falling down my face but it did not work.  When I arrived, it looked as though someone had stopped me at the door and thrown a bucket of water on my face.  My hair was dripping – really, dripping!  And people who don’t sweat just look at me like I am a disgusting, inhumane creature.  I don’t like people who do not sweat; they are odd and should be feared.

Silly faces at the pool

When I got back to the office at 3, I realized I had no more meetings and I had cranked out some good work during the week.  So, I made the executive decision to meet up with the kids at the pool.  I biked home, changed out of my soaking wet dress, and threw on the bathing suit that I had not worn in weeks.  When I got to the pool, I peaked in to see Maria holding Zach’s hand leading him to the edge of the pool and Mario jumping in while making a karate-like chop in the air.  Ahh, my children.  I jumped in with them without any begging on their part; I was ready to get cooled down.  The water was cool, and it felt heavenly.  Mario jumped into me while Maria acted like Zach was her dog and she made him paddle to her.  Megan divulged that while they were sitting during rest time, she listened to Maria and Zach.  They spent the entire time discussing their wedding and how many dogs they were going to own, and cats, and fish.  Then they moved on to kids.  They agreed to three kids.  Pretty practical.  Megan said they should consider living on a farm if they have a lot of animals, and they both thought that was a grand idea.  They talk about their wedding and marriage a lot when they are together.  They act like a married couple often, too.  Maria tries to get Zach to do something and he refuses; she struts away.  They both play alone for a while and then eventually forget they were fighting and resume life as usual. 

Maria and Zach

Tonight, Zach got angry because he wanted to go to the yogurt shop and not the ice cream store.  When his mom and dad did not give in to him, he pouted the entire time and ignored Maria.  Maria tried to hug him and he pulled away.  She turned away from all of us and huffed away.  I explained to her that she needed to ignore Zach because he was in a bad mood, and she turned to me and explained “I am mad at Zach.  I have a right to be mad because he is being a jerk.”  How could I argue with that one?!  Mario, meanwhile, is completely oblivious to it all.  He is way too mesmerized with the sword and shield he found at Zach’s house.  He hides behind poles and jumps out with his sword in the air and shield by his chest.  A natural warrior.