Tuesday, February 26, 2013


You may know I'm a bit odd. If you know that, you also know that first sentence is a bit of an understatement.

One of the ways this manifests itself is my intense hatred of contrived holidays - Mother's day, Father's day, Valentine's day, etc. I'm not opposed to celebration or even frivolous celebration. While I am an introvert, I don't think you need an excuse to have a party (my definition of "party" may be vastly different than yours, but the maxim holds true).

I'm a little less excited when the frivolous celebration someone else conceived becomes mandatory for the rest of society. St. Valentine had his head chopped off for trying to convert the Emperor - not exactly hearts and flowers and chocolates, you know?

I've also believed (and continue to believe) that if the people in my life don't know I appreciate them through the normal course of life, if I am not thinking of them in intentional ways all year, then it's almost a lie to make a big deal of one day.

I never thought I'd end up on the negative end of that sentence, though. I've always tried to bring home flowers or chocolate for no reason at all. I keep saying I'm not opposed to a nice dinner, gifts, and celebration, I just hate doing what everyone else is doing. I've tried to be spontaneous (as much as my obsessive personality will allow) and special. I'm not sure I've done it enough.

My wife has put up with a lot of things over the years. In fairness, she does invite chaos into her life on her own, but she certainly has often been blindsided by mine. She works really hard at a pretty thankless job. Sure, she gets 7 or 8 weeks off each summer, but in the other 45 I don't think I've seen her put in less than 70 hours a week. She taught school the day before she went into labor. She makes all of our daughter's food herself.

She does more around the house, in our neighborhood, and in life than she needs to, because she's good at so many things (and, let's face it, I'm kinda lazy).

We talk often about the difficulties, at times, we have in our marriage because we are absolute opposites. Even after 8.5 years we're both pretty terrible at reading the other's mind. There are probably other people each of us could have married and had easier lives, but I don't think they'd be better.

My wife, through love, grace, stubbornness, and sheer force of personality, is making me into someone better than I was. Also, without her I would not have this beautiful little girl, who is absolutely the best thing I've ever done.

I hate contrived holidays. This is a source of relentless displeasure for this wonderful woman. So today I'm beginning to make things right. I want my daughter to know how to love other people and I want her to know how special her mother is to me. Today, and on the 26th day of every month, we're going to have "Mom Day," where we celebrate the wife and mother who holds our world together.

1 comment:

newrad4jc said...

Ryan, you rock. (Plus extroverts like me hate some holidays as well.)