Tuesday, October 8, 2013

My Husband, My Hero

He endures disapproving looks from those that think they understand the situation, their judgment hot on his neck on hard days. And then there are the favors people assume he has time for because "he doesn't have anything else to do." He knows no one else on the same journey and has watched friendships falter as common ground slipped away. 

And still he perseveres. 

Just over two years ago, his business tanked and I went back to work. That's the sanitized version we tell people, anyway. The truth is that I was spent. I had reached a point as a homeschooling mom where I was sliding into quicksand and could not reach the surface. I was failing. I couldn't breathe. I grabbed ahold of the opportunity to return to work like a drowning man wraps his whole body around a life preserver and I did not look back for an entire year. 

He rescued me by staying home and we both know it.

He spends his days wiping dirty bottoms and dripping noses, answering endless questions, refereeing countless fights, running load after load of laundry. He shuffles kids to doctor appointments, to therapy, to youth group, to practices, and to homeschool co-op. He unlocks the mysteries of quadratic equations and helps solve for mass while setting the timer for the next toddler potty session. He teaches long division and listens to yet another Bob book while filling the crock pot with what will be dinner.

It is a thankless job.

The days are punctuated by series of crises, one of which invariably involves painting with poop by someone of the youngest set. Sometimes the crisis requires the removal of a toilet to dislodge whatever toy was most recently flushed when someone forgot to shut the door behind them. Lately, it's been unexpected trips to the pediatrician who really should initiate a buy-10-visits-get-1-free-card like I'm always telling him. 

Groundhog day times infinity.

It's hard to remember amidst all that seems like daily chaos, that it matters. That what he is doing is more important than most. He is shaping lives. He is instilling vision and purpose. He is painting Jesus on their hearts and showing them how to love well. He is teaching them to resolve conflict. He is modeling work ethic, integrity, kindness, redemption, forgiveness, patience, and perseverance. And he is doing it while embracing people in our crappy neighborhood and teaching our kids about diversity. He is teaching them, by his very presence that people, that they, matter more than stuff.

The intangible is so difficult to see in the middle of the grind.

Work beckons. His part-time job must constantly be put in its place. Boundaries must stay firm. He has chosen family first, on purpose. These lives will only be here, under this roof, for such a short time. These minds will only be malleable, for just a moment. He knows, one day, they won't want Dad around, but for now, the young ones follow him from room to room and it is a gift, not to be taken lightly. I'm sure that the desire to find his fulfillment, his identity in the work of his hands or in the amount on his paycheck must be overwhelming at times, yet he never complains and rarely comments. 

The temptation to choose differently is great.

He let me dump it all in his lap that first year. I had no responsibility other than going to work. I did not cook a meal and I honestly don't remember even changing a diaper. As I emerged from the fog the second year, my contribution looked very much like criticism of everything he did, which, obviously was unhelpful to the situation. He seemed to have everything under control and I was feeling left out. We were in the process of adopting Bo and we were all feeling a bit undone. Then Bo came home and it was just chaos and too much for one person to handle alone. So we balanced the scales a bit and I reduced work hours and he added some work hours and we're figuring it out. Together. 

He let me find my way back.

When we first married, he left a job that he loved for one that he hated because it had better benefits, benefits that we needed. I knew then that he would do anything for this family. I was not wrong. He was then, and he continues to be, my hero. 

He loves us well.


  1. Blessed. Definitely you are both heroes, raising good people.

  2. That's a huge compliment coming from you, Miss Beth! I thank you!