Saturday, June 20, 2009

Not Exactly According to Plan

When Husband and I got married, we used to talk about the kind of parents we'd be. He'd be the fun, soft-spoken, happy Dad. I'd be the gentle, supportive, singing Mom.

Reality has leaped in here and changed our details a little bit.

I am not the gentle mom. I am the nag. I am the picker. I find fault. I expect, I demand. Do I think I'm a bad mom for this? No. I have a whole list of occasional worries about being the bad mom, but this one's not on it.

I am sometimes the supportive mom. I go to lessons. I sometimes sit through practicing*. I do girl-talk, but not after 10:30 p.m. (I have my limits.) I can say with the best moms, "That guy is a jerk. He has no idea what he's missing," even while I'm silently praying my thanks that nothing is going on between him (whoever he is) and my little girl.

The singing mom bit - well, that's debatable. I had a singing mom, and we'd go on car trips back in the day and make our own music. We kids knew all kinds of cool folk songs and show tunes and silly songs and campfire songs. Our car trips these days require at least one iPod, but we sing along with it, so maybe that counts.

Husband is the great dad. Fun? Often (even though all our kids roll their eyes at him**). Soft-spoken? Often. Happy? Usually. But all those things we thought we'd be have been shoved aside for a few more urgent things, more necessary things. He is the dad who says No when No is the right thing to say. He is the dad who laughs when the kids are funny, even when I think "funny" leans toward inappropriate***. He is the dad who takes charge of work projects, who buys paint brushes for kids, who lets them knock sections of wall out (yeah, heavily supervised). He is the dad who listens to prayers at bedsides, and tells "crazy stories" and sings out of tune. He is the dad working every day to provide those little necessities like food and heat. He is the dad who shows what his priorities are, and those priorities all appreciate it. He is the dad who loves his wife.

And so, even though it isn't exactly like we planned, it's pretty awesome anyway, and we are so lucky that it is working out this way.

*Moms who regularly practice instruments with children earn rewards in my book. Big ones. Dipped in chocolate.

**He loves it, I can tell.

***Which reminds me of sitting on my parents' bed in the late 80s watching very naughty SNL skits, waiting to laugh aloud until I heard my mom laugh.


  1. These same thoughts have been running through my head all day. My husband and I had lots of plans and life sometimes gets in the way. But like that AWESOME movie "UP", I'm grateful for the adventures I've had along the way. I wouldn't trade them.
    No, we're not who we planned and parenthood is a lot harder than we thought, but we're loving the ride. And as long as he's with me, that's the best adventure I could wish for.

  2. I can't help but echo yours and L.T.'s sentiments. Ditto, ditto, ditto. Beautiful post.


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