Saturday, January 16, 2010

The Head of the Household

This is my husband...

He's a pretty cool dude most of the time...and the head of our household (or so I let him think).
I like to think we complement each other pretty well...after almost 21 years of marriage we seem to have figured out some semblance of daily life that works for us both.

Oh, we still have our moments...and because he is the only male in a house of women, he probably has a rougher time than me understanding everything that happens in our world. Right after we first got married, a dear friend of ours came by our house right in the middle of a newlywed squabble...He could immediately tell from the tension in the air and the puffiness of my face what he had interrupted. Mindful of stepping on anyone's toes, he said what he had come to say but towards the end of the conversation slipped in his own thoughts on marriage. He said that he realized after so many years of marriage to his own wife that when he first married her, he didn't really "love" her. He further explained that true love was what he had for her in the present tense...a history and a future built together through shared life experiences...he said that husbands and wives have to LEARN to love each other. The fruits of that labor were well worth the effort he said...and he left. I understood what he was saying then but there was no way as a newlywed, I could really "get" it...I didn't have the perspective for it. I surely do now.

Instead of letting our differences drive us apart, most of the time we choose to step back and honor each other's individuality.
I'm literature...He's sports

I'm a spender...He's a saver

I say, "We'll discuss whether or not you can go to the party"...He says "NO"

I have "pie in the sky" plans and ideas....He wants to see the budget for the plan and wants to know who's going to pay for it.

I could visit NYC 100 times and love it everytime...He says "Been there, done that...too crowded"

I love the theatre, dance and musicals...He loves football and golf.

I LOVE cats...He HATES them.

Politics frustrates me...He is a staunch Republican.

Despite our differences I like to think we work well together because I keep him a little on the silly and lighthearted side, and he keeps me grounded. But, the thing that makes me love him the most is his love and dedication to us, his family. I have no doubt that my husband loves me for who I am. I realize that there are many women in this world who cannot honestly say that. I aggravate him to death and I might as well be speaking in tongues when I try to explain how I "feel" about something...but he still loves me anyway. He pretends he envisions a traditional home like Mr. Banks described in Mary Poppins...where upon arriving home from work, his dinner is waiting for him and the "heirs of his dominion" are scrubbed, adequately fed, ready for patting on the head and sending off to bed. But, secretly, I think he would have our realistic CHAOS no other way.

I also have no doubt that he loves our daughters. Like me, he struggles to give each of them what she needs. Each has her own distinct personality, and walking the thin line between lifting one up and bringing another down is sometimes perilous and takes a lot of concentration. But, he does it.

He himself grew up in a home of only boys...the drama, the tears, the communication gaps, the mascara didn't exist for him growing up. During his childhood a disagreement was settled many times by an actual physical scuffle. His mother once told me that she returned home from the emergency room with one son just in time to load another in the car and head right back. This method of conflict resolution doesn't work well with girls...although I've sometimes wondered if we should try it! In spite of this, his daughters know they can count on him. They know he will protect them. They know he loves them unconditionally.

Our daughters also know their father is a truly good person in a world where truly good people are few and far between. Most people in today's world have a hidden agenda, and they are willing to use others to successfully accomplish their agenda. My girls and I know that the head of our household is not that kind of person. He is who he is. He doesn't sugar coat it. If you ask his opinion, he's going to give it to you...straight out. He's not mean...just the facts. In a world of double meanings, sarcasm, hidden agendas and hurtful comments, it is refreshing to be around him.

Now, don't get me wrong. Our home is not any stretch of the imagination. We have problems just like every other family in the world...but I happen to believe that's the way it's supposed to be.

This picture of my hubby is now one of my favorites because he is in his pajama pants, sweatshirt and baseball cap and he's reading. He's relaxing in our bed doing something that he enjoys doing just for himself and for pleasure...and he feels free to do just that. This is home to me.

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