Life in the trenches. That’s what it feels like sometimes with small children. Being a parent is the most amazing experience of my life, but to do it well takes more energy, patience, and time than I ever would’ve imagined. This isn’t a complaint—it’s simply a preamble about my fellow foot soldier, my wife of ten years (this April), my best friend, and my true love.
I met her in the summer of 2000 (yep, those of you who are mentally calculating have already begun to realize it took me too long to propose to her—I’ve never claimed to be an incredibly bright man) when a community theater troupe decided to put on Cinderella for its summer play. They had a Cinderella selected already—I was told she had an amazing voice and was quite pretty—but they needed a *cough cough* Prince Charming *clears throat* and for some reason decided to ask me.
Though I wondered just how desperate they were to invite me to be their male lead, I was intrigued by the opportunity. I’d been in plays before and wondered what it would be like to be someone other than Unnamed Chorus Member Whose Face You Can’t See Because He’s Standing Behind a Badly Painted Plywood Castle.
So I agreed to play the role, wondered what on earth I was thinking, lost a lot of sleep, and eventually showed up for our first practice.
Where I met my future wife.
I recall thinking they were right about what an angelic voice she had, but they were way off about her being lovely. She wasn’t lovely. She was a freaking stunner.
Even better, she had an incredible personality. She was kind, warm, genuinely funny, and a hundred other things I wanted in a girl.
We wouldn’t get married until several years later, but when we did, we expanded our family fairly rapidly. Our first child was born after fifteen months of marriage.
And for the past eight years my Cinderella has been doing battle in the trenches. Changing diapers. Staying up late at night with crying kids. Kissing hurts. Doing laundry. Cleaning the house. Cooking. Cooking some more. Making a pre-supper snack. Making a post-supper snack. Taxiing them back-and-forth to school. And a thousand other duties.
During that time our marriage has remained strong. We love each other, are devoted to each other, and are still best friends. I also still find her beautiful—even more so than when we first met.
So Wifey, thank you for being such a wonderful mother. Thank you for doing all the invisible but essential things you do each day to help our kids, to help me, and to keep our family strong. Thank you for your sense of humor and your love. I’m deeply thankful for you. I love you more than you’ll ever know and am proud to be your husband.
Happy Mother’s Day. You’re my baby!