Marriage is surprising in ways I didn’t expect.
First, and I know I’ve said this a million times but I am surprised that I didn’t marry myself. (I know. Right?) Andrew is so much different than me and when he disagrees with me I am still shocked every time.
Every. Single. Time.
I’ve also been surprised at how awesome fighting is.
Fighting is not awesome when there is no commitment (like when you fight with your neighbor) but when you know the person is going to stick around and is dedicated to making it work, fights can actually help everyone grow. I feel closer to Andrew after we resolve an argument.
But most recently I’ve been surprised by being a servant.
I’m a big feminist. Big time baby. I’ve never believed that a wife’s role is to serve her husband. And I thankfully married someone who agrees with me. He has never forced me into a mold or made certain archaic requirements of me and I love him for it.
But a sort of startling truth has dawned on me in the last couple years that doesn’t really make any sense. It’s backward really.
You see I realize that when Andrew and I selflessly serve one another we both benefit.
You’d think that the person being served would be the only person to gain. But no. The person serving is often the most blessed.
Andrew bought me these flowers yesterday. But he also does the dishes and changes the oil on our cars and mows the lawn and puts up the Christmas lights and takes down the Christmas lights and fixes the heater when it explodes and cooks incredible meals and renovates our house and watches Clare so I can gig. In so many ways he serves me constantly and I know it gives him great joy.
So love ends up not being a chain, that binds you and forces you into servitude, but rather an invitation to serve knowing that that service will give you immeasurable joy.
This Christmas Andrew and I got Clare a doll bed.
Andrew wondered if it was a good idea thinking of all her other toys that she had already outgrown or become uninterested with. I thought it was an interesting question and responded with, “She’ll love it.” and a flippant hand wave as if to swat away his ridiculous concern.
Truth is, I wanted to buy her a doll bed.
But I thought about it and we talked about it and decided that the doll bed would provide hours of imaginative play for years to come and went for the big 20 dollar purchase. Yay! Big spenders.
Well, Clare loves it.
When she wakes up and I take her out of HER bed she automatically goes into her doll bed.
We didn’t really expect her to get IN the bed. Nor did we expect that if she did in fact get in the bed that it would hold her weight and all her doll’s weigh as well.
She certainly doesn’t like her own bed this much and I do find it rather strange that every time she puts one of her dolls to sleep she shoves their face down into the bed and holds it there. No kisses or songs or hugs only the insistence of sleep and a good face smother into the mattress.
- I eat at least 6 meals a day. I realize I’m not normal
- I browse Etsy almost every day. Pitiful.
- I often stick my fingers in our rice bin. I love the feeling. And for this reason it is rare that we serve rice at our house when guests come to eat.
- I love getting stains out of clothes.
- I laugh when Clare says words that sound like swear words.
- I own more journals that I have items of clothing. I can’t bring myself to throw any of them away. Hoarder? You tell me.
Either Clare was being generous with Sugar, her doll, or …
She REALLY hates my banana bread.
This is not posed. I seriously found Sugar drowning in in banana bread with her face covered in butter.
When I asked Clare about it she simply said, “Sugar”.
I don’t know. But I laughed. And I’m still laughing.
hmmm…this could also be and erie Toy Story moment.
I’m not one to abuse leisure. In fact it is quite foreign to me. Mommy and Dada are always groaning in the morning when I am poised and ready to attack the day with vigor and gusto and a cheerful spirit. It almost seems as if they are walking around asleep until they drink an entire cup of that foul smelling liquid.
And I approach everything in my life this way, with the great anticipation and excitement for what new thing I can experience and learn. I consider this a discipline. Those two lazy bums don’t seem to have any discipline at all. All they want to do with me is have “fun” when I’d like simply to take a brisk walk around the block, breathing in the cold crisp air and feeling the winter wind whip across my face.
Seriously, I shudder to think what they would get done around here without me.
Recently Mommy introduced me to something called SNOW.
As an admirer of science I figured the best way to understand this new substance was to first touch it then taste it.
I found the coldness invigorating and it’s ability to hydrate me satisfactory but it’s taste was reminiscent of dirt and I think…possibly urine.
Overall, SNOW was, in one word, thrilling…though very difficult to walk in.
Mommy quickly brought me back inside insisting that I was cold and though I tried to convince her multiple times that day to return outdoors, appealing to her that it would benefit my respiratory system immensely, she only said, “Maybe tomorrow.”
Last night’s snow fall was the perfect amount for a little girl.
Clare woke up with morning and we immediately looked out the window to admire the newly fallen snow.
While breakfast was baking Andrew joined the winter block party of neighbors who were simultaneously shoveling and salting their walkways. Clare and I watched from the window, pointing out everyone we knew. Andrew threw snowballs at the window to Clare’s delight.
Clare waited patiently to join her dad.
I dressed her in two pairs of socks, boots, a shirt, a sweater, a coat, a hat and…
…socks for mittens.
The first things she said when we got outside was, “Windy! Cold! Buhahah!”
We’ve been trying to teach Clare not to leaver her food on the floor.
Why would she even have that option you ask?
Well, I’m a snacker. Always have been. So it’s completely natural for me to eat about 6 or 7 small meals a day. Andrew thinks I’m nuts. (no seriously…nuts are good) And I feed Clare the same way I eat. We eat three balanced meals and three not so balanced snacks.
Recently Clare’s been really into apples mostly because she can finally say the word. I can’t blame her. I’m just as excited she says, “AAApp -eh” as she is.
So I give her an apple and she takes it around the house nibbling as she goes and loving every minute. Not so bad for me either considering it buys me enough time to do some dinner prep which I haven’t done since she was born…gonna be honest there.
The only problem is that she leaves it everywhere and mice love our home so…
So we decided to try and reinforce some good manners and teach her to either give her apple to us when she is done or put it on an elevated surface to save it for later. I gave her the example of a chair.
Well, a couple days ago I gave Clare an apple and we both went about our own business and ignored each other. But when I saw her again I saw no apple.
“AH! Where’s your apple?!” I said.
We scouted all over the house looking for it calling, “AAAAApple!” We couldn’t find it.
Later I noticed Clare had miraculously found her apple but when I went to join her in our daily dance party the apple was missing again.
I let Clare do some solo twirling as I ventured once again to find this disappearing apple only to spot it in the very place I had told her to put it.
And that is now where she puts all food she wants to save for later – apples, half-chewed cheese, sippy cups, a 1/4 cookie…anything.
I feel bad for the person who gets the slimy chair when they come to dinner. But I am ridiculously proud of my girl. Next time I just have to think through my strategy before I execute it.
When you find out you’re expecting a girl you overdue it. First thing you do is go to McDonald’s and order a strawberry milkshake (PINK) to celebrate. Then you head home only to stop at a store and buy ten items that are entirely PINK. You go home and paint the nursery PINK.
Then at your next appointment you find out your PINK should have been BLUE.
But seriously. I overdid it. I told myself that I wouldn’t buy a whole bunch of pink crap cause my daughter would wear blue and purple and green and red and orange and yellow and black…cause…you know…babies wear black right? Then I went out and bought a million impractical dresses and dolls and stuffed animals that were PINK. I bought ballet slippers. I bought books about redheaded girls and ballerinas and teddy bears.
Andrew said, “What if she likes Karate?”.
“Fine. That’s fine.” I replied. “But isn’t this tutu cute?”
It’s funny now, Clare loves tutus and dancing and feeding her dolls and having tea parties with her Grannie. She loves hats and jewelry and clips and headbands and flowers and hearts and…everything girl.
I wonder why.
PS Have you overdone it?