My latest read is Rules of Civility by Amor Towles.
I don’t know if it could really be considered a book about happiness,
but it is definitely a tale of how NOT to be happy.
I’ve enjoyed it. It must have been so liberal for its time.
I’ve been having a lazy day with Caroline finishing up the last 50 pages
and the above quote was such a beautiful way to explain
what I love most about my husband that I had to come and write.
I haven’t even finished the last few pages yet.
Being married is the best thing that has ever happened to me in this life. It is also the hardest thing that I have ever done. Staying in love takes a lot of work, but it is the best kind of work that I make myself want to do. Funny the other day a lady at church came up to me to tell me that going to marriage counseling was unnecessary. It was almost as if she thought I had crossed some line of impropriety. Meanwhile she lives in a loveless marriage. I tried to explain to her that marriage counseling is a wonderful tool that my husband and I use to both get what we want. I am so grateful to have a really good counselor. LG and I both have never been healthier or happier.
Back to the above quote. Reading those two short lines brought back a flood of images of times when I observed my husband with such great love I thought I would burst. I didn’t realize when they occurred that those moments were so special because they were when his boy and his man collided. One of the most beautiful parts of sharing a life with a partner is knowing them better than anyone else in the world. Knowing their self in the present and the past and therefore the future also. Knowing where they’ve come from is sacred but knowing what they will become is the most powerful. Being with my man in the past and present is my greatest privilege second only to the future of guaranteed togetherness that lies ahead.
So, I want to write those moments before I forget them.
The moments when my husband was perhaps the most beautiful to me, when his man and boy were both present:
- Riding bikes along a trail together. (He used to love to fill his backpack and leave for a whole Saturday with his Vienna Sausages)
- Building fires. (Whenever I see him build a fire I think of him as a ten-year-old Cub Scout)
- Playing video games. (Thank heavens this doesn’t happen very often like some men who stay stuck as boys)
- Nerf Gun fights. (There’s just something about a man and his gun)
- Watching Lord of the Rings, Avengers, Superman, Batman, etc. and hearing him name the villain as they show up on the screen. (He has a photographic memory for those old comic books and fantasy novels)
- When he plays The Entertainer on the piano. (It’s as if he shrinks by 150 pounds right before my eyes)
- Listening to Sarah McLachlan. (His teenage crush cannot be hid)
- Singing along to John Denver. (We share this childhood memory)
- Watching him play basketball. (He bites his tongue and its just so cute)
- Picking beans and shucking corn. (The lyrics to a great song that I love but also something LG did a lot of as a kid)
- Listening to bluegrass. (Always makes me think of the first time he promised to someday take me to Dollywood with his slightly detectable Southern accent)
- Rollercoasters. (He always recalls that Dollywood used to be Silver Dollar City)
- Watching him plunk away at random instruments. (He has this love and interest that he cultivated as a kid)
- Hearing him say Mama. (When we first met he always called his mom Mama)
- Watching him use his Priesthood. (I always think of his little 12-year-old self passing the sacrament)
- When he cleans. (His mama taught him good – he is especially meticulous – just like her – with folding clothes with perfection)
- When he doodles his L’s and G’s in 3D form. (A little bit of mindless habit)
- Mowing the lawn. (Um yeah he did a lot of that as a kid and still does)
- When he ties a tie. (It’s a talent that I love to admire)
- When he’s immersed in a novel. (That man loves to read)
- When he helps the kids with their math. (I’m pretty sure he could do calculus in elementary school)
- When he eats a bowl of cereal. (We used to love to watch Saturday morning cartoons naked with our cereal when we first got married, I watched him more then the cartoons)
- When he plays with the guys. (One of my most fond memories was watching LG at about 28 with his two best friends Scott and Conan. They had made up a game with a ball and a electric wire.)
- When he held our babies. (I could just imagine him as his mama’s oldest child helping her so sweet and gently with all his younger siblings)
I am sure there are so many more. I could write all day, but I will stop myself there. Perhaps the most intimate moments are too private to share, but when a grown man can cry and share with you moments when as a kid he was scared, wronged, ashamed, lonely, and confused it is such a beautiful vulnerability. Those sad moments are just as important and touching as his paradoxical times of love, happiness, pride, and joy.
I married a wonderful man. I just happened to get a pretty great little boy in the deal, and I don’t even have a single son.