Monday, February 13, 2012

Better than a goofy present....

I thought it would be a good idea, instead of spending money we don't have, to show my husband how much I really appreciate him with something that can't die (like flowers) or be eaten (like chocolates, though he does like those). So I'm thinking back to when he and I were just dating, and he made a list of 100 reasons why he loves me. (Wish I could find that list now . . . sigh.)

I've been considering for a few months now that I really should tell the entire world how wonderful my husband is. So I will. Or, you know, I'll tell YOU, dear reader.

First of all, if you don't already know this about me, I'm involved in a lot of stuff in addition to my job. I travel a fair amount to do independent contract work and for-my-own-edification presenting and speaking at EdTech conferences and other events. I also co-host two podcast/vodcast shows for, lead a Cub Scout den, serve as President on the Board of a non-profit, co-direct a teacher professional development program, and perform in a musical/theatrical event or two at church each year.

I'm not telling you all this to make myself look good. I'm telling you so that you can grasp the true gravity of how fantastic my husband is.

As it is, when I am home, he does the dishes, does the laundry for all three of us, and takes care of everything around the house. So when I am away, he also does ALL the child care and school stuff for our eight-year old son. Many nights, he already takes care of most of the parenting stuff at our house. In fact, every morning, he gets our boy up, dressed, fed, and ready for school. He also makes the lunch Cameron takes with him each day. When there's a field trip, Alec goes along as a parent driver whenever he can.

The more I write, the more I start to believe that I don't actually serve a purpose at my house.

My husband does pretty much everything. He takes amazing care of me and my son, and he is incredibly supportive of all the stuff I have pulling me in a hundred different directions in any given week.

We don't always agree on everything, and sometimes we disagree pretty strongly. But if there is ever a time when it turns out I am right, he -- brace yourselves, ladies and gentlemen (especially all you ladies who are by now quite jealous of my life) -- admits he was wrong and apologizes. And he really means it.

When I'm about to go on a long driving trip, he checks out all the stuff in my car (oil, washer fluid, tires, etc.) to make sure everything is good to go. He also checks with me to see if there is anything I need laundered to take with me, even before I start packing.

Even though grocery shopping is one of my few chores, if I am away or if I just get too busy with other stuff, he will go do that too. I don't bring home as much grading as I used to, but when I did, he often helped with that as well. When I'm working away on my computer, he comes and asks me if I want a cup of tea. He makes me dinner. He brings me a bowl of ice cream. When we have family visit from out of town, Alec is the one who gets everything ready, and often -- as is the case this month when I'll be away a bunch -- organizes everything and gets people where they're going in my absence.

Now, you're probably assuming my husband is a stay-at-home Dad. But he's actually self-employed, works every day outside the home (including weekends), and helps out with Cub Scouts during the winter months when it gets dark earlier and his outdoor classes stop at dusk. And one of his students in the classes he teaches is our son.

Speaking of doing stuff together, Alec is always working on some kind of "project" with Cameron. Sometimes it's school related, but often they're building something or making up a new game or working in the yard. My son is learning responsibility and how to be a man from the best role model he could hope for. He's taken him ice skating, swimming, and scooter riding. They dance and sing to classic rock. They watch Laurel and Hardy movies. They read Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol together, complete with funny voices, this past December.

If I even tried to buy a greeting card or silly gift, it would dishonor how much my husband means to me and what a great partner and father he is. Alec and I both despise the commerciality of this "holiday" because we think it's silly to have just one day out of the year to express your love for someone you've chosen to spend your life with.

Since I don't do enough every other day of the year to tell him, though, I'm hoping what I've written here will begin to show what I never say enough out loud. This is the fourteenth Valentine's Day since we met, and I finally think I understand how much I depend on and adore my husband.