Today is my husband's birthday and a good time to thank him for the father he has been to our children. For nearly 18 years I have pored over the Parenting Literature, as a Good Mother should. My loving spouse . . . has not. We often have opposite instincts about how to handle parenting crises. We share a panoramic vision of raising a family, but up-close we rarely see things the same way. Perhaps the greatest gift of marriage is this different point-of-view: the opportunity to see the world through another person's experience.
We strike a pretty good parenting balance, perhaps because precisely different things bother us. Above all, he is a good man who fiercely loves our children. We are not perfect, either of us, but many times throughout the years I have been humbled by his relationship with our boys. He is guided not by "experts" but by his own inner compass. He laughs easily, forgives often, and prefers the truth to any other option.
Just last night, he pulled a parenting move so inspired, so creative, so clever, the details shall remain in the vault until our children have children of their own. It was that good. I was reminded once again how right his instincts are. When I am at a loss with our boys, he finds a way to guide our family back to order. (He also finds the keys, phones and wallets habitually lost by me and the son who is like me, poor child.) When I am on the edge, he pulls me back and shows me how to laugh at the situation. He has taught our sons good manners, good music and good values. Every time I have doubted his parenting choices, I have witnessed their undeniably positive results. He is good and he is wise, sometimes despite himself and usually in the face of resistance from me. I am awfully glad he is by my side on this long, strange trip called Parenting. He is proof of God's grace; I have been given so much more than I deserve.
"Do you love him, Loretta?" "Ma, I love him awful. "Oh, God, that's too bad." - Cher & Olympia