Years ago, we played a game with Quinland where we each had to tell something we loved about the others and something we loved about ourselves. Invariably, Quinland’s response about me would be something like, “I love Mama because she works so hard!” or “I love Mama because she works hard for the family!” while her response about David would be, “I love Dada because he is so sweet and nice!”
This used to bug the heck out of me. Was I not also sweet and nice? And all this “hard worker” stuff made me sound like a martyr of a mother, standing around saying, “After all the hard work I do around here…”
And while David can definitely be sweet and nice and kind and gentle and all the other adjectives that Q would throw his way, those weren’t always the ones I would think of first if I were asked to describe him.
What would I think of first? Smart, smart, smart. Playful. Funny. Passionate. Principled. Intense. Serially obsessed with one hobby or another. Thrifty. Thrilled to see exotic places, meet exotic people, play exotic board games. I could go on and on; I know him pretty well.
But you know what? I could not be more thrilled that when Quinland thinks about her dad, she thinks about his softer side first. To her, he is all that is good and kind. She knows about the other side of him (“Be very careful when you buy bread! Don’t spend more than 10 krone!”), but she knows that, fundamentally, what matters is that he is so loving… and so lovable.
I know that, too – without a doubt – but I would do well to remember it first.
I’m grateful for my wonderful husband. I love that boy, and I am so lucky to have had him in my life for more than 25 years. Happy, happy birthday!