When My Lovely Wife and I first started dating, I used to give her these quotes to make her think I was wise and insightful. I’d spend hours leafing through books to find someone else’s words to say what I couldn’t. The one that stuck out the most was from a 17th-century Anglican bishop named Jeremy Taylor who said, “Love is friendship set on fire.”
For me, it’s become the unofficial mantra of our marriage. I married my best friend, the only person whom I can spend every waking moment with, only to end up wishing for more hours in the day.
Not that I ever get around to saying that out loud to the one person who actually deserves to hear it.
Words have never come easy for me … at least not the important ones.
The night I proposed, I dropped down on one knee on the beach in Panama City. It was totally romantic. The moon was out, the waves were lapping against the sand, and there I was just a-yammerin’ away, never slowing down enough to realize I’d left out a vital part of the whole proposal.
“You haven’t answered me,” I said.
“You haven’t asked me anything,” she said.
I finally got the words “Will you marry me?” out of my mouth. But I’ve been pretty emotionally silent — if that even makes sense — ever since.
Turns out that whole “More than Words” song was a lie told by dudes who just didn’t want to say, “I love you.”
Women like to hear that stuff. They like to hear that you need them and would be lost without them.
Squeezing their butts and saying something more suitable to a junior high lockerroom is not the way to a chick’s heart … oh, and don’t call them “chicks,” either.
So here goes: My Lovely Wife is my inspiration.
She’s taught me what it means to be a man. She’s stood beside me through the growing pains of fatherhood. God knows that wasn’t easy, considering there are times she’s been raising three children — The Diva, Jellybean and me — all of whom are apt to throw a temper tantrum when they don’t get their way.
But for all her strengths and talents, My Lovely Wife’s greatest achievement is that of being an amazing mother.
The sacrifices she has made to better the lives of our children would qualify her for sainthood. Yet, she’s always worried that she isn’t doing enough.
It won’t be until The Diva and Jellybean have children of their own that they will fully appreciate the job she’s done, and just how lucky they are to have their mother as a role model for what it means to be a good parent.
Talk about a tough act to follow. It’s like having Nirvana open for Menudo in terms of our compared parenting skills.
But no matter what, we’re in this together, and that makes me the luckiest man alive. I married my best friend and the fire rages.
I hope I haven’t said too much, because it wasn’t nearly enough.
Contact Brett Buckner at firstname.lastname@example.org