Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Defining My Husband

Before we had kids of our own my husband had really never interacted with children on any type of level. He would spend time with my extended family but his interests never were surrounding the babies or little kids at the parties we would attend.

Since having kids, he has shown that he is an amazing father and provider and loves his children unceasingly and unconditionally.

There are days when he will be angry and frustrated with our kids and it shows. We both have them. But we always come back to the fact that he adores them and loves being able to spend time with them and play with them.

One of the things I have found since becoming a mom, and even for some time before that, is that I am constantly aware of children around me no matter where I go.

I see that child in the shopping cart who has managed to wriggle out of her seat belt and is reaching for the Oreos on the top shelf while her mom is bending down getting the whole grain organic graham crackers.

I spy out of the corner of my eye the child who has escaped his father's hand at the zoo and is now running straight for the penguin exhibit but doesn't see that the tram is coming right through that same path.

I notice the toddler who has managed to undo the lock on their front door and has escaped into the driveway in nothing but a pj shirt and a pull-up. Wait, that's my kid......

Anyway, I seem to have become more aware of kids around me because I have kids or maybe it's a mom thing or that nurture instinct.

I don't know.

I just know that I was convinced that my husband didn't have it because he never seemed to catch those things.

Last night we went out for ice cream and we were coming out of the ice cream parlor walking towards our car, our kids grasping our hands, when all of a sudden- literally split seconds- my husband handed me my son's hand and was chasing after a little boy sprinting across the parking lot.

All I heard was, "One second, hold on buddy, be careful." And then I looked my husband had put his body in between this little boy and the path of a car backing out of a spot.

The boy's parents were steps away but I guess didn't see the car or didn't realize their son would take off like that. I'm not really sure. But they smiled, grabbed their son's hand, and walked in to get ice cream.

And we got in our car and left.

I didn't say a word to my husband. There was nothing to say. He did what any parent would do.

Hopefully, what any decent human being would do.

His action, though, showed me that I haven't given my husband enough credit.

I often wonder if fatherhood has affected him in as great a way as motherhood has affected me. Everything is different because I'm a mom. Almost every choice I make and every step I consider I put my kids' and their well being first. Almost.

I know that my husband works hard, very hard, to make sure he can provide for our family. And I know that we are at the forefront of his mind. But I wonder if being a father is one of the first characteristics that he mentions when someone asks him to tell them a little bit about who he is.

I wonder if he says, "Well, I'm Mountain Dad and I've got two kids."

I wonder if he defines himself by his fatherhood status. Because sometimes, most times, I find that I'm defining myself by my motherhood status.

Last night I saw that fatherhood has affected my husband in a way that is different from what I had initially thought or expected. I saw that he, too, has become aware of other children and has emotionally opened himself to something that I don't think he ever thought he would.

It was a positive change that I saw in my husband last night. A refreshing one. One that made me love him that much more and made my respect for him grow that much more.

And it also made me feel good to realize and know that he is a dad all the time, not just when he needs to be.


CrAzY Working Mom said...

I hope that if this ever happened to me, your hero (or someone just like him) would be around! Bravo, Dad!!! Nice job. Pat him on the back from me (and my three kids).

Helen E.M. Wright said...

Isn't it funny how much children can change someone?!?! Mine is the same way! his parents actually worried about him as a child/teen and his lack of interest.

Kate said...

I've noticed the same thing with my husband.

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