When my spouse reminds me of why I picked him ...
My spouse is known only by D when I talk about him. I don't give his full name, or his nickname. In fact, I've probably talked about my kids and given more information about my 3 young sons than I have about my hubby.

D is really private, and so, I respect his desire to be private by keeping him vague and unknown in my writings and discussions. But for reference, his name does start with "D" and that is why I call him D.

In real life, D is loud. He's the life of the party, he's a trickster, and he loves to joke. He can never stay still or quiet for long, he likes noise and chaos. He is usually the loudest at a dinner, and the center of attention for his easy-going nature and approachable personality. Our house, with three boys, three dogs, and one cat certainly fills his need for the craziness.

And when you add in my special brand of craziness to it all, he's in heaven.

D is also the exact opposite of me. I am quiet, reserved, a loner, creative, and a little insane. I don't like people, I don't enjoy going to gatherings or parties, and I am not physically expressive with my happiness, sadness, or anything in between. You would be lucky to get more than a few words out of me at a dinner, seriously. And it's not me being rude, it is simply my personality.

I do better alone, in a corner, reading, writing, or doing something that involves being inside my head and not out in the world, present and ready to be in the present.

I just don't.

Somehow, him and I work.

Somehow.

And more times than people would think, I find myself wondering how my spouse and I ever got together. How did we make it work? How does he put up with someone who would rather sit across the room, typing on a computer, while he chats away to ... well, himself when I'm working.

Then the moments come around, every so often, where my hubby reminds me in a simple way that I picked him, and my personality was something he needed. Someone quiet, someone who didn't mind his loudness and his own craziness.

Last week, while we were getting our oldest son, who is six, ready for school, our son stopped us both with a simple sentence. It was one of those rare mornings where my hubby actually had the day off through the week and was able to be there to drive our son down to the bus.

My son was helping his father pack his hockey bag when he said, "Mom, I love Todd."

For the sake of this post, I am using the name Todd. It is not the name my son used, but it is the one I will use.

I was getting his snowpants ready for him to put on, and froze.

Todd is a little boy, the same age as my son, who is in the same kindergarten class as him. They're friends, like most of the kids in the class. My son has never talked much about the kids in his class, he's just not the type. He's like me, quiet, aloof, and not very approachable on the outside. My son picks a couple of people to keep close, and those are his "friends".

So when he quietly but surely said "Mom, I love Todd", it stunned me for a second. I quickly looked to my spouse, wondering what he would say. Our six-year-old son was saying he loved another boy. And while it could be just a friendly thing, the same way he tells me he loves me before he goes to bed, it's still the fact he is saying it.

We have three sons. I have been adamant that words like "fag, faggot" and any other derogatory terms not be used around them, but especially in my house. I never wanted my sons to feel like if they were gay, that they would need to hide it from us as they grew up.

But I worried.

In that one second, while I looked to my spouse, I worried he might say something seemingly innocent to our son, something that no one would think much about, but might damage the trust I had slowly started to build with him by keeping fear of judgement away.

I worried he might say, "Boys don't love other boys."

Or, "He's a friend, right? We don't love friends."

Something ... anything.

I worried.

I shouldn't have. D didn't look up from the bag as he said, "Todd is in your class, right?"

My son said, "Yes."

D smiled. "That's great that you love him, Ro."

Just like that, I started to breathe again. I asked my son about Todd before my hubby shuffled him out of the house to catch the bus in time.

And he reminded me at the same time, with one sentence, why I picked him, why he's good for me, and why we work despite how incredibly different we are when standing side by side. He reminded me of why he is often my muse when my writing fails me, and I am looking for a new hero to write. There are more of his characteristics in my heroes than I care to admit. If he read a single book of mine, he would probably feel like he was looking into a personality or characteristic mirror.

As for my son, he came home the next day without saying a word about the boy in his class. I don't know about who or what he'll grow up to be.

But I have every bit of faith in my spouse that my son, and our other boys, will never feel unloved or judged by their father.

We're not raising little boys--we're raising good men.

At least, we're trying.

--Kris
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