A Journey of Hypotonia and Hope and Everything In Between
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Wednesday, June 24, 2015
Growing up, I used to imagine the kind of wife I would be. I liked to imagine that I would be a delicate mix of June Cleaver and Carol Brady. True, June Cleaver is the queen of needlepoint, cake decorating and cleaning in pearls, while I, on the other hand, cannot sew to save my life, would rather devour than decorate a cake, and wholeheartedly detest housework. And yes, Carol Brady -- a housewife, sculptor, freelance writer and political activist, with a singing voice of an angel -- is tough competition, but I was prepared to rise to the occasion.
Our wedding day -- 2010
And then, the other morning, as I was in the middle of a very important search and rescue mission for a missing Barbie shoe while also trying to coerce my two-year-old to use the potty, my husband asked me if I had seen his keys. To be honest, I was so caught up in trying to find Barbie's pink, rhinestone encrusted stiletto that I don't know if I ever even responded to him. Even sadder, it took me till nap time to realize my lack of response.
In that moment, I didn't feel like June Cleaver or Carol Brady at all. I felt more like a mix of Roseanne Barr with a side of Peg Bundy -- self-absorbed and undomesticated. But that's not who I am all of the time nor is it who I want be. It's then when I realized a few things: the world is full of marriage myths that the media perpetuates, T.V. wives are liars, and I am never going to be the wife I wanted to be.
So, to my amazing, patient and loving husband, on our fifth wedding anniversary, while I will never be the June to your Ward nor the Carol to your Mike, this is the wife I will be:
Myth: I will always be highly interested in your every hobby, pastime, television show, etc. Truth: I will support your interests. Take golf for instance -- my mom made me take golf lessons growing up. It's hot and slow and boring. And to be honest, as a kid, I was just in it for the golf shoes, the cart ride and the tan. Likewise, I can only watch WrestleMania 28 -- the return of The Rock -- so many times (two to be exact) before it becomes obnoxiously obvious that I have been faking any and all interest in wrestling. But I will happily ride along in the golf cart and cheer you on, because I love to see you happy. And I will sit next to you on the couch, because I do get a kick out of hearing your commentary and watching your reactions -- especially to shows you have seen only 7583920 times.
Myth: I will never do anything wrong. Truth: I will do some wrong in your eyes. Like that one time when I poured hot candle wax down the kitchen sink or the time I set the garbage bag on fire while I was cooking dinner. Yep, I will probably do a lot of wrong. I will probably round down all of my shopping expenses by ten dollars at least. I will go over my data plan on my phone at least three months of the year. And I will be forever thankful for your forgiving and loving heart.
Myth: I will agree with every decision you make. Truth: I will respect the choices that you make. While I may not agree with every one of your decisions, I promise that I will always be a constant source of support -- as long as you aren't deciding which bank to rob. Otherwise, I will be your biggest fan.
Myth: I won't ever go to bed angry. Truth: Some nights, I will have to agree to disagree with you. In the earlier years of our marriage, not sleeping till every issue had been resolved may have been a reasonable request. After all, I am all for resolving issues and starting fresh, but with two kids -- one of whom constantly keeps me on my toes -- I am tired. Even though I may fall asleep mad, I will still love you.
Myth: I will spend my time ensuring that the house is clean, organic dinners are served, and my hair and face always done up. Truth: I will spend my time teaching our children right from wrong, encouraging them to explore the beauty and goodness of our world, providing them with advice and guidance, and giving them my unconditional love. With whatever time I have left, I will follow Peg Bundy's sage advice and pretend to be an awful cook so you have to take me out to dinner.
Our family -- 2013
Myth: Having children will make our relationship stronger. Truth: Having children will make us stronger individuals who are able to love more fully. Parenting is a constant lesson in self sacrifice, patience, reflection, and unconditional love. If we take half of what we learn as parents and apply it to our marriage, our relationship will flourish.
Myth: I won't ever worry. Truth: I will worry, and it is because I care. I will worry about your safety if you aren't home from work on time. I will check on the girls multiple times at night to make sure they are still "there " and still breathing. I care about you, about us, and about our family. I care about your well-being, our happiness and the girls' health, so I worry. In fact, just thinking about not worrying makes me worry. I know it's obnoxious, so I will do my best to limit my worrying to a mere five things a day.
Myth: I will be expect you to be perfect. Truth: I will ask that you give your all in all you do -- including our marriage. Your attempts may be flawed from time to time -- that's okay. I will only ask that you put your best effort into us, and I promise that I will do the same.
Myth: Marriage will be easy because we love one another. Truth: Marriage will hand us our fair share of bumps and bruises. We will stumble and fall. We will experience pain and fear and loss -- so great that it feels as if our hearts are trying to beat their way out of our chests. Our love for one another will not protect us from heartbreak. Marriage will never be easy, but it will be easier because we have one another. We will pick each other up when we fall. We will wipe away one another's tears and help erase the other's fears. We will be stronger because we experience life together.
Myth: I love you just as much today as I did when we first met. Truth: I love you more.