Monday, August 25, 2008

a love letter to my husband


Dear Neil,

Today I've been thinking a lot about how grateful I am for you. While I sniffled and coughed and dragged around all weekend, you were so unfailingly thoughtful and sweet that I wanted nothing more than to cuddle up with you (and sneeze on your chest. Sorry about that). It was delightful to snuggle with you last night and make fun of silly movies. I especially liked it when you told me my hair smelled like flowers, but better. That was so silly and sweet.

One of the things I love most about beginning a new semester is the way we work together as a team. I am so grateful that you don't "expect" me to do certain things, like make dinner every night or keep the house clean, and you always compliment me for those things. Every day. Like it's the first time I've ever done them. That means a lot to me (and I especially like the way you taught Abigail to applaud at the end of dinner and say "Good dinner, Mommy! Thank you!"). Where I'm really going with this is to say this: I'm grateful that you appreciate the "woman's role" things that I do, and/but you don't mind doing them yourself. I love how you look at our schedules to see who can do what when, and you don't sit back and watch me frantically juggling. You pitch right in. I truly feel like our marriage and parenting and lives are a team effort, and I thank you for that.

It was so nice to come home from work this morning, by way of a trip to the grocery store, and see the beautifully clean house you'd left when you came to exchange the children with me. The dishes (from the fabulous French toast you made before I left for work) were done, the counters were clean and shining--I could dump the groceries right down. The sheets on the beds were changed, and the laundry was folded and put away. The children were dressed, fed, and happy. I'm so grateful to you that I can have the best of both worlds. I'm grateful for what you told me last night--that you love to see me being able to use my education and training, and you're excited to do whatever you can to support that. I'm grateful for your daily gratitude for what I do as a wife and mother. I'm grateful for your unconditional support for me in all the many roles in my life.

I appreciate your efforts to help me to grow and develop in all these different roles. It really touched me when you joined Goodreads so that we could have an "outside intellectual place" to compare our thoughts and start conversations about what we're reading. I'm grateful that your to-read stack is composed of books on subjects that I'm really concerned about and thinking about. I appreciate your 100% support of whatever projects I undertake, whether it's recreating the dining room as a study or Abigail's "mealtime manners" sticker chart (and thank you for heading up that "princess party" for last week's sticker chart when I was too exhausted to move. You did a fabulous job).

I'm also so grateful that you're doing all this for me while you're incredibly busy yourself. The life of a third-year doctoral student is far from easy, but you're focused and excited about what you're doing--and you always put our family first.

What I'm trying to say is...I appreciate you. I'm grateful for you. I love you.

2 comments:

Katrina said...

so sweet.

Neil said...

Thank you, sweetheart. That really touched me. You make those simple tasks which I enjoy doing for you sound like more than they are. I just got back from watching the best film I have seen in a long time (Dark Knight, give Ledger's family an Oscar for that one; he deserves it) but I enjoyed reading your blog more. Plus, I think that is the first time I have ever seen the conjunction junction: and/but.

I love you.

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