Friday, January 23, 2009

The Most Wonderful Man in the World!

Today is my husband's birthday. Most of our celebration will take place over the weekend, but I want to pause for a minute and focus on him TODAY.

When I was younger, I wanted to marry a man with green eyes. I really hoped that his hair would be just a little bit reddish--not red--but just enough to show up when the sunlight hit. And if he could have just a bit of curly tendency to his hair, that would be wonderful! (Not the so-curly-you-have-to-keep-it-cropped-super-short kind of curly.) When I say younger, I mean since elementary school, these have been my secret hopes.

And tall. Very tall. I had a dream a few months before I met my wonderful husband. In that vague way that you "know" the back-story of the events of a dream, I knew that my husband and I were hosting some kind of party at our house. I never saw his face. As everyone finally trickled out the door, we walked onto the back porch to see the last rays of the setting sun, where I put my arms around his neck and we kissed. Something struck me about this moment in the dream, so when I woke up, I had to check it out. I enlisted the help of my long-suffering teenaged brother to discover how tall this man was. Once I got a baseline of how tall he was, I made him stand on a precarious perch of phone books and dictionaries until he was close to the height of the mysterious Man of My Dreams. I was only an inch or two off of my husband's actual height. The dream faded from my memory within a couple of days. Years later, however, we were at a party at someone else's house. We slipped out onto the back porch alone, catching the last rays of the setting sun, and as I leaned against him, I experienced the strangest feeling of deja vu...

Now, before I sound like some shallow, silly woman, of course I wanted all the substantive things. He is kind and generous. He prays for me. He is a good, godly man who is a hard worker and provides for us. He is intelligent and witty and has good manners. He can carry on conversation with brilliant Mensa members with multiple degrees, prominent business leaders, blue-collar quarry workers, or an elderly woman from a rural area who never went beyond elementary school. Because he listens--truly listens--they respond. He learns from their stories, but not in a cautionary, "how can I avoid having their life" kind of way. He loves my parents, my grandparents, and my brothers and their families. He enjoys spending time with them. Perhaps most amazingly (being a dog person when we met), he accepted my cat. And they have grown quite fond of each other!

It goes beyond finishing each other's sentences. Random things pop into both of our heads at the same times! We love to read and discuss books, articles, and poetry. We take music and podcasts when we travel, but we rarely get to listen to any of it because we are too busy talking. Or just enjoying the sound of the road while we hold hands. He doesn't mind watching "chick flicks" with me, although he does need to intersperse them with football or action movies. He likes my cooking, and he likes to cook and bake, too. He can even shop for groceries UNSUPERVISED. (I heard the collective gasp of all married women, but it is true. My mother has even attested to this fact!)

And, completely unprompted, he brings me chocolate.