A Husband Who Became a Dad

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My husband is not a saint. He is not Prince Charming. He is not my savior. But some days, he comes pretty close. It’s on those days, when everything feels like it’s going to fall apart, and he brings me a glass of wine and swallows the sarcastic comment waiting on his lips, replacing it with a kiss on my forehead, that I send Jesus a little prayer of gratitude for letting him be mine. And I pat my husband on his hip, and remind him he’s the best.

As a husband, he kicks ass. He’s not intimidated easily, and so he doesn’t feel challenged by my brassy tongue or big dreams. He’s faithful, and not just for show, and not just with his body. He believes in me.  He likes the challenge of me. And he is up for that challenge. He’s the only one who ever could be. For years, I have known he was the smartest man around. I love when other people realize it, too. I smirk, because I knew when he was just sixteen, and so I must be pretty clever myself.

But as a father, he’s even better. He’s a builder of legos and an architect of pillow forts. He’s a baker of sweet treats and a master at macaroni and cheese. He can fold a flawless paper airplane, and then spend hours flying them from the second floor landing. He can draw whatever cartoon character my son is currently “into”, and all while the kid stares over his shoulder, breathing warm, moist air down his neck.

He plays video games and knows obscure superhero trivia. He and my son have intellectual debates about villains and heroes.

He’s good at the hard stuff too. He’s great with nightmares and middle-of-the-night requests. He isn’t afraid of tears or holding on really tight when my son can’t stop them from coming. He will say no, but not just because he can. He always provides a reason. He can multitask, but focuses completely when the situation calls for it. He doesn’t ignore hard questions, and he doesn’t pretend feelings are meaningless.

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He gives us both hugs at the same time. He kisses me on the lips in front of our son and tells me I’m beautiful. My son tells me I’m beautiful, too. My son gives compliments to girls and talks about deep things with his friends. He is kind to animals and smaller children. He is sensible and silly, and he wants a wife, not just a girlfriend.

My son is learning everyday what it means to be a good man, and that’s because his Dad isn’t afraid to show him. My husband is my soulmate, but my son’s dad is a hero.

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What’s Up Wednesday: I’m Proud of All My Friends Edition*

WUWKiteWhat’s Up Wednesday is a weekly meme geared toward readers and writers, allowing us to touch base with blog friends and let them know what’s up. Should you wish to join us, you will find the link widget at the bottom of Jaime’s blog.

*If you can tell me which FRIEND said this, and give me the episode, I will give you a full social media shout out. And we will also need to become best friends. 

What I’m Reading

I am still reading UnSouled by Neal Shusterman, but I have a good reason. I spent a few days reading my friend and CP, Susan Crispell’s debut Adult Magic Realism novel, Love & Cupcakes this week. I definitely, heartily recommend this book if you like sweet romance and swoony guys, but even more if you have a sweet tooth. I’ll talk about it more in my interview with her next week, so stay tuned!

What I’m Writing 

I wrote about 6,000 words last week. NEW words. My WIP found it’s way back into my good graces. My characters took on new levels of honesty. I began to feel like I could actually do this thing I set out to do. This feeling gave me confidence to make some changes to my other novel, and even if they end up being thrown out, it felt good to be back in that world. I guess my Muse and I are firmly back together.

What Inspires Me

I have some very talented friends. Some are actors. Some are writers. Some are dancers. Some are computer nerds who speak in code. Conversations with gifted people get my gears spinning.

With his cousin Jubilee.

With his cousin Jubilee.

My son. I shared last week that we got a new puppy. Sam is a cautious child. His confidence and his belief in himself stammers when faced with new, and seemingly, impossible situations. In the weeks since we got him a puppy, his willingness to branch out, away from his comfort zone and into new areas, has noticeably shifted. I am the opposite of shy, timid, but that can be misconstrued sometimes as being infallibly certain. Everyone needs to be reminded they can do whatever they are doing. No one is immune to fear.

What Else I’m Up To

I have a lot of reading and critiquing to do to get ready for the Djerassi workshop in just a little over two weeks. This was pointed out to me yesterday, at which point I started requesting whiskey and silence.

My husband’s birthday is today. I’m making him manicotti for dinner this evening. The fact that I am cooking something that requires a recipe and multiple steps shows how much I care. Friday we’re having a birthday party at our house with local pizza, kraft beers, and professionally made cupcakes. My husband is the best of guys. I am thankful everyday that he’s mine.

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Eternal respects in the form of Jennifer Lawrence’s pretty face go to Samantha Hager and Melanie Stanford for knowing that Ross is the FRIEND that bruises like a peach!

Couples Therapy

Marriage is like trying to write a novel. This could be said about life, raising children, etc.— but for the purposes of this post, I am only talking about marriage. I have been married for six years, so, yes, I got married very young. We have a solid partnership. We like each other a lot. Of course, we love each other a lot too, but liking him is often more valuable than loving him because it means we laugh together and we connect. We were watching a movie yesterday. We usually try to do that on the weekend when Sam is napping because by the time he falls asleep, we too, are pretty beat.

It was one of those indie-comedies where you always feel like, at any minute, someone is going to die. The plot centers around two brothers, one whose marriage is falling apart, the other whose world has fallen apart and he needs it to be redeemed. Overall, the movie was only a B, but there was a moment where the wife of the first brother says, “We’ve just gotten so off track, what’s any of this even for?” My overwrought writer brain grabbed a hold of that.

Many people get married because of passion, or the chemical thing called love. They get married because of a baby, or the fear of loneliness. Some marry merely because others around them are, and it seems the natural progression to their life. I’ve seen those marriages, they’re rocky. I’m not saying they won’t eventually level out, but they are always in a tenuous state. Marriages that start out like mine can end up destroyed, too, lost to the roaming world. Because marriage is like writing a novel.

Many writers start out really strong, with a clear reason for what they’re doing, an idea defined. The writer then sets off on the winding road to the end, and they lose their way. They forget what they started writing this for, what the goal and motivation of the protagonist is, and they end up very far away from where they wanted to be. They digress then — this can last for weeks, years, or forever. When it is the latter, a sort of divorce happens. They give up the project, not quite able to pinpoint where the love was lost, but losing it nonetheless.

I do this sometimes even when I’m blogging. I begin a post because I have a spark of an idea, and then in the writing, or because I’m distracted by other life factors, I forget the thesis statement of my post. And I’m then staring at the computer scratching my head and wondering, What the hell was I trying to do there? Like that character said, I’ve gotten off track somewhere.

Most marriages, even the train wrecks, are worth saving. Not every novel is. Or not every novel is in the state that it begins. It will need a new life, a slice with a red pen, and a diligence to finish. In this way, marriage and writing a novel are the same. The challenge is always in finding your way back to the heart, to the reason you began this journey in the first place. All of us are susceptible to getting off track, that is human nature — following rabbits down holes thinking it will lead to a better road — and all of us are capable of finding our way again.