Dearest, beloved husband of mine,
Spending all this time together during COVID has been teaching me a few things about you and me and our relationship. And so I thought, why not share that with thousands of my closest friends?
First, please know that I love you more than anything, and I’m not going anywhere. But I have to tell you honestly:
Some days, I kind of resent you.
See, you finish work, throw your stuff on the floor, leave your lunch dishes on your desk, and are three kids deep in a wrestling match before I can even manage, “How was your day?” By that point of the day, I’m done with their humor and repeated jokes, but before I know it, all four of you are repeating them to me as if they are fresh and actually funny. You laugh with a big belly laugh and chase them around when all I want is for them to calm down and finally sit still. Tickling matches ensue on top of the unfolded laundry, which none of you notice.
Sometimes, at the end of the day, it feels like I have four kids rather than three. And sometimes I kind of resent you.
But when I stop stewing for just a minute and I see you wrestling and tickling, not noticing the dishes or the laundry, laughing at their jokes with your authentic laugh, I have to confess something deeper to you:
Some days, I’m kind of jealous of you.
Some days, all I can see is the laundry and the messy dishes and the chaos I have to manage all day long. And some days, I find I don’t laugh nearly often enough at their ridiculousness because I’m too busy managing everything. And then I see you wrestling and tickling, not noticing the dishes or the laundry, laughing with your whole body, and I wish I could be more like you.
I wish I could greet my kids with the same delighted enthusiasm that you always do, not the end-of-day exhaustion I often feel. I wish I could let go of all the things that have to be done and just roll in the clean laundry. (Metaphorically, of course, because mama hates folding laundry and I’m not gonna do that twice.) But I envy the relationship you have with our kids, and sometimes I kind of want to let loose and just be like you.
But the real moral of this story is this:
All days, I’m so very thankful for you.
As I watch you tussle with our kids and laugh at their jokes and chase them in circles over scattered LEGOs and formerly folded laundry, I think to myself, “Wow, you are different than me.” And yes, sometimes it really does feel like having four children rather than three. And yes, some days I do really wish I could be more like you. But I don’t have to be exactly like you — because our kids have you.
They have a dad who adores them and is delighted to greet them every night when he “comes home” from the bedroom “office.” They have a wrestling-tickling champion who doesn’t find their squeals too wild and doesn’t try to tame their crazy (until later). They have a daddy who isn’t distracted by to-do lists but is 100% present to them. Because you’re you, I get to step back and let you roll into the chaos with gleeful delight. I get to grab my tea and let the pots boil and just sit on the balcony for five minutes of total silence. Which, just like you, is a gift to me.
I cannot imagine parenting through COVID, or life for that matter, without you. So I guess what I really want to say, in front of God and all these internet witnesses, is that I am so very grateful that you’re you and that you’re with me. Also, thanks for (re)folding the laundry — after 9 years of marriage, I feel so very known.