But still, I find myself compelled, not by the 14 in the box on the calendar, but by my heart's desire, to put to paper some thoughts about my man. The man who has stood beside me and called me his girl, even through our storms, which still do their share of storming...
I did not know, as none of us can, who I was commiting to share life with when I walked the long aisle toward Tim 15 years ago. I thought I knew close to everything about him, but as it turns out, I knew very little. And even what I knew is not relevant now, as he has changed so deeply and wonderfully since that day.
In a word, he is now much more self-aware. He is eager to know who he was, who he is, and who God wants him to be. And he wants me to join him in that journey. I gladly join because he is soft and strong, not harsh and aloof.
Two weeks ago, we had an apartment full of throwing up children and a mommy who was herself sick and wearing very thin. I stood in my closet, which has clothes strewn in all manner of disorganization, and within five minutes, I scratched down a long list of things for which to thank Tim...
So Tim, I know you like lists! Here's one for you. Remember the big kids first day of school? Tuesday, January 31? I want to thank you for:
Doing dishes and cleaning the kitchen.
Making children's lunches.
Staying home from doing your things to help with sick kids and baby.
Putting sunscreen on kids.
Telling me to take my time walking kids back from school, to stop and get a treat with them on the first day of school, even though you were home with sick girls and crying baby.
Admitting I was right about your poor exchange with Wesley.
Playing handball in the hall with Brock.
Snuggling with sick Maria in her bed.
Cleaning up Maria's throw-up in her bed during the night.
Taking Wesley to the toilet every night.
Drawing a picture with Rachel.
Not pushing me toward you, but gently inviting me and waiting.
Suggesting burrito-wrapping baby Anne at night.
Simply the quick list from that one day. The list grows longer every day.
Most of all, though, I want you to know how thankful to you I am for this grand adventure we are on. This Australian adventure. Thank you for slowing down. Thank you for doing the risky, hard work of looking at yourself. Thank you for listening to me, seeing me, knowing me. Thank you for taking me, our family on this beautiful journey. I'm glad to travel with you. Happy Valen Times, my man...