I don’t know yet as I begin to write this how it applies to the original intent of this blog, but I am going to write it anyway. I need to tell somebody and you all seem to be the best to hear it. I hope for many of you men, it might give you some idea as to the things your wives do everyday that you may take for granted and forget to applaud.
Janine and I had the opportunity to have our grandson Chase over for the weekend and it was awesome. And although Janine is not Chase’s mother, I don’t think it effects the story at all or the intent of what I am sharing.
Janine always does myriad things that need to be done for all our kids and for our grandson without complaint or actually without anything but a smile on her face. The wash, making sure they are all fed, making sure they are all clean and watching out for their general safety. I guess by some standards, that would make a great mom, but to me that is the minimum entry for a mother. Because you can do all of these things without love, without compassion, without inspiration and that is not life-changing. What I watch Janine do is life-changing. With her smile, with her laugh, with her tenderness for the kids, she is changing their lives.
Saturday night, all the kids were somewhere else and it was just Janine, Chase and myself at home. She was getting Chase ready for bed and asked me to come in and play with him because I had been at work all day and hadn’t the opportunity to spend time with him. It really should be notable enough that this crossed her mind and she acted on it. To ask me to do this, she had to be thinking about his well being. She had to be thinking about his needs. Which means she had to be putting thought into someone’s else needs above putting thought into her own. She didn’t stand to benefit by my spending time with Chase instead of her. She didn’t stand to gain anything at all. But all that aside, that was not what was so amazing. As I began to play with Chase, she lay down on the bed with us and began to play as well. She began to kiss his feet and tell him that they smelled funny. They didn’t, she had just bathed him. It is a game she plays with all the younger kids and they love it. It is like a tradition that they all wait for her to do. Then she began to raspberry on his tummy, over and over again. He laughed and laughed until he was going crazy. Then she started tickling him on his neck. He laughed some more. By this time, I wasn’t playing with him at all. I was so overwhelmed with admiration for this woman, who has taken on the job of loving this new family that came with me when her and I married, that I temporarily forgot to play with Chase. Always aware, she noticed this and began to tickle me on my neck. This is actually more thoughtful than might first appear. She was playing with Chase but was still aware of what I was doing and wanted me to be back involved. That is thoughtful. How she did it was even more so. Being tickled on my neck is actually one of my phobias. I know that sounds like a crazy phobia, but it is weird to me. As she began to tickle me, she told Chase about his crazy Papa’s phobia. And did it in the sweetest way. She had to be totally aware of me and my life to remember that what she was doing to him would get me back involved too. We all had a great time. But most importantly, Chase was loved. He was loved by her time, he was loved by her affection, he was loved by her commitment, and he was loved by her thoughtfulness.
The whole incident was less than 20 minutes long. What I want you to see is that if you are not aware, you will miss all the amazing things that your wife does in any given day. There won’t be any horns blowing to get your attention. There won’t be anyone else around to point it out. You have to be looking. You have to realize that while many things might not seem life-changing at the time, they really are. I know that everyone in our family has experienced some change for the better in their life because of Janine. I am also sure that for many of you it is the same. Watch what your wife does as a mother. Watch what she does as a wife. Watch what she does as a friend. Then let her know how much you admire her. How much you appreciate her.
You see, it is not about her. She is already doing these things. It is about you. Make it about you.