Tuesday, April 16, 2013

My man.



Isaiah and I went to have the coat of pollen washed from my car yesterday. When they called for my car to be retrieved, I put some cash in Isaiah's hand and closed his fingers around it. "Here. Give this money to the man who gives Mommy her keys back."

Over we walk and this big, muscular gentleman smiles and says, "How are you, ma'am? Do things look okay?"

And I chuckle back and reply, "Anything involving water on this car is an upgrade. Trust me."

And this pleasant man nodded, put my keys in my hand and pulled open the door for me.

"Excuse me, sir."

That big man swung around when he heard a little person's voice. Isaiah extended his hand and handed the cash to him. His young eyes were flitting from side to side, perhaps a bit afraid of this Paul Bunyan-like fellow and his soiled t-shirt. Then he glanced at me and then stared exaggeratedly into that man's eyes. "This is your tip. Thank you."

And that man seemed to appreciate the whole thing. "I like that. He looks a man in the eye."

"And a woman, too," I teased. "His daddy drills that into his brother and him."

Isaiah looked a bit embarrassed. But he shouldn't have been.

Early this morning, I stood over a laundry basket. It was out in the hallway instead of empty next to the washer and dryer and, okay, I'll admit that this is where it had been for two days straight. Hunched over it, I sifted through little shirts and shorts and ninja underwear in search of matching pairs of socks for school. It wasn't going fast enough, so I plopped down and sat cross-legged on the floor.

Yup.

Then, from where I was sitting, I could see straight through my bedroom door to the edge of our bathroom. A simple morning ritual was taking place. Two boys standing side by side. One with a face perched upward while one firm, adult hand holds it steady by the chin as the other sure, paternal hand carefully cleans every trace of sleep from it with a warm wash cloth. I studied the muscles in his forearms, flexing as he explored crusty nostrils and dusty ears. The other brother waits silently; he knows the drill. In preparation for his turn in the assembly line, he clumsily brushes his hair in forward strokes.

"Like this, Dad?"

"Forward on top. Backward on the back. Just like that."

"Okay, Dad."

"My man."

Still, like always, those strong hands come behind those little ones. Rebrushing. Regrooming.

"Fix your pocket, son."

"Yes, Dad."

"There you go." Then an uber-manly hand slap. The tenth one that morning. "My man." 

I get so lost in watching, it startles me when I hear my name.

"Mommy, do we have socks ready?"

I shake my head and come to. I dig vigorously some more and finally come up with two pairs. "Here you go."

Socks and shoes. Cereal, coats, backpacks. And in between there are discussions going on between father and sons which are mundane but perfect. Peppered with these things I hear every single day in my home like:

"Son, put your eyes on me when you talk. Look people in the eye, son. You understand me?"

or

"Who is 'yeah?' We don't answer Mommy or anyone with 'yeah.' You got that?"

"Yes."

"My man." 


Today I saw and heard all of this, these things that are part of the daily fabric of our morning life. And as ordinary as it was, something about it felt extraordinary. All I could think was, "This father who is loving on these children and showing them how to be men is my husband. And he loves me as much as I love him."  Then, being the mushball that I am, I bite the inside of my cheek to keep from crying at that thought because I know this isn't promised and that planets don't always align like this. Not like this, where a good man falls in love with you, marries you, has children with you and then loves all of you with sustained intensity without giving up.

It happens, but not always. It doesn't.

Shoe shine with Daddy


Note: Harry had on sneakers that day and is only wearing shoes for the shine. . Now, you already know the BHE wouldn't be caught in gym socks and dress shoes!


So yeah. Right now, my little boy's eyes might jump nervously when speaking to a new person, but eventually they won't. And he will go somewhere caring about how he is groomed and he'll be speaking up so that his voice can be heard.

And me, I'll be somewhere watching just like this morning and knowing the love that went into getting those boys there. And still feeling unbelievably fortunate to have attracted this extraordinary human being as my life's partner.

My man.

***

When you say, "My man," it's this version. This is how the BHE says it--Denzel style.




33 comments:

  1. This is awesome. You get what you give. I am embarrassed to say I noticed the white socks before I read your caption and thought, 'this can't be!' and lo and behold you explained.

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    1. Had to clarify that one, girlfriend. You KNOW the BHE would never do such a thing. Remember: HE dresses ME. Ha ha ha.

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  2. Yes. You have a good one. And I love that you share him with us.

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  3. Man, this just feels so good and right. It's a blessing to see people raising their kids up like this in this day and age. What I wouldn't have given to be taught these things from such a young age!

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    1. I'm not a man, but I can see what a difference it is going to make. I sometimes feel like he's tough on them, but then when they behave in ways that make me proud, I feel like it's right.

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  4. It is so refreshing to know that you know how awesome the blessing of your family dynamic is. That's why I love this blog so much. "It happens, but not always." Indeed.
    :-)

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    1. I pinch myself often Cassidy. I really do.

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  5. God has blessed you 100-fold and you know it and don't take it for granted and that is beautiful.

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    1. Thanks, Jill. I appreciate your kind words as always. :)

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  6. Yes. And you DO know how blessed you are and you acknowledge that and you are grateful. And also, YOU made some mighty fine choices along the way which is why you have all of this to be grateful for.
    I watched Jason this past week, holding his babyson in his arms, sharing meals with him, stepping up every second to take care of his boys when Lily was busy with wedding stuff. He never so much as rolled his eyes or sighed. He just stepped up, did what had to be done, did it with grace and ease and patience and love. As a mother, a grandmother, I am blown away by all of this. I am grateful for the daddy my grandsons have.

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    1. Jason is pretty much awesome. And so is Lily. (Isn't it funny how overly familiar we all are with your entire family?)

      Am I the only one who's already excited about the next baby even though Jessie JUST got married last weekend?

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  7. This blessed me, thank you!

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    1. Thanks, Diane. Your comment blessed me!

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  8. This was truly beautiful.....many blessings!

    -Cassandra

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  9. Love this. I can't wait to watch *my* BHE and our son as he grows up. We are so blessed. <3

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    1. Yes ma'am. I bet you'll be watching and swooning just like me.

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  10. From the deck of the Poop,

    I remember when BHE call me and asked for permission to marry my daughter. I was impressed to say the least. Who ask permission nowadays!
    I said OK but you need to make sure that you take CARE of her. He has and he continues to do so.

    The PoopDeck is a happy camper

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    1. Oh, my sweet Poopdeck. Sigh. . . .

      I never knew that he asked permission. But I'm not surprised. He has immense respect for you, Dad, and also our relationship. I appreciate that he does, too.

      I'm glad you're a happy camper. I am, too.

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  11. It is extraordinary, and yet also everyday, which is its magic. your boys will be amazing men, because they are learning from an amazing man who isn't leaving their lessons to chance, but is teaching them with intention and love and gentleness and pride. Beautiful.

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    1. I love the pictures of your husband mindlessly holding his hand on top of your son's head--even as an adult. So much love there. You have a good one.

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  12. You are right that it doesn't always work out like that, but I am glad that it did for you. Modeling good manly behavior will go a long way. But you knew that.

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  13. Ditto to what Angella said! Thank you for sharing bits of yourself with the world; that takes courage and I know someone is blessed every time they click (don't you just love the Internet?!)

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    1. I love that name "The Gift Diva!" I'm sooo about to go to your blog right now. . . .

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  14. Two beautiful and fortunate little boys.

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  15. I was totally not going to cry until I saw your dad's comment. Your boys are going to be wonderful husbands some day :)

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    1. Marla, you've been hanging around me too long. You're getting mushy, woman. :)

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  16. I love love love reading stories about the BHE and your beautiful family. I'm still waiting for my life partner, but reading this keeps me encouraged. Longing and impatient, but encouraged. LOL

    May God continue to bless your family!

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    1. Agreed, and the beautiful thing about her story is that she freely shares it - abundantly and gracefully.
      "One day you'll meet the person who will make you realize why all the others didn't work- the Lord has something better in store."

      God Bless Team Manning and their supporters!

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  17. That made me beam knowing my own beloved will be doing this for our babies one day. :))))

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"Tell me something good. . . tell me that you like it, yeah." ~ Chaka Khan

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