When my wife and I started talking about children, I had a general idea of what I wanted: healthy kids that didn’t look like the mailman. When we started actually parenting our kids and raising them, I had a general idea of what I wanted: healthy, potty trained children who didn’t bother me, and then supported their parents for the rest of their lives. I’m nothing else if not a man with small expectations.
Men have pretty simple expectations. We like sports, food, and big TVs. When it comes to parenting, we are pretty simple as well. We want kids to be obedient, respectful, and become professional athletes or movie stars. I was not much different than the general male population. I knew I wanted my kids to be respectful and not scream in restaurants like some other people’s children or throw a fit in a public place. Other than that, my plan for them was pretty blank. My wife however, had different , (read better), ideas for our children.
My wife is amazing, and I mean that in the most pandering way possible. For her, it’s not enough for the kids to be obedient and not embarrass us in public. She wants the kids to be kind and considerate of the needs of others. It’s not enough for her that the kids say please and thank you, they need to be people who tell the truth, work hard, love others, and think of those less fortunate than them. My wife has high standards for my kids.
However, it doesn’t matter if you have lofty expectations, because children are the greatest monkey wrenches to ever monkey a wrench and they will attempt to destroy your plans every time. Perfect example: children wait until the end of the day when you’re trying to go to sleep to bring up some problem, start a fight with their siblings, or have an emotional breakdown. If it were up to me, I’d lose my temper, tell everyone to just go to bed, and say we’d figure it out tomorrow. My wife though, is undaunted by the monkeys that are my children. She won’t give in until she addresses each need, confronts each problem, and corrects the character issue arising in each particular child. My wife has high standards and refuses to let the kids be any less than she expects them to be. I however, just want to go to bed.
I’m probably being too hard on myself. I am not as lazy or uncouth as I sound, but there’s no doubt my wife is the better person and parent, (and I mean that in the most pandering way possible). It’s not that I don’t want the same things my wife does for our children, it’s just I sometimes have the mental capacity of a walnut and don’t know how to put into action the lofty ideals I have for the kids. It’s like looking at the world’s largest rope knot and trying to figure out how to untie it. It seems utterly impossible to take my somewhat deranged children and help them grow into people of sense and integrity.
My wife is not limited by my walnut sized brain. She has the innate ability to see the giant knot of confusion that is my children, and create a plan for the day, the week, the month, and the next five years which will challenge the children to grow into responsible adults. In the meantime, I will try to fix the ice maker.
I’m so thankful God made men and women different. Women have such an innate ability to nurture, care, and help. Men have their own innate abilities, but as good as we can be, (all kidding aside), we can’t be what God designed moms to be. Furthermore, I’m so thankful for my wife. I marvel at the way she can maintain her temper, love and challenge our kids, and push them everyday to grow into men and women of character, consideration, and love. I’m so thankful my wife had both the greater expectations for our kids and the mental capacity to figure out how to put those expectations in action, all while dealing with a goober like me.
Happy Mother’s Day to my wife and all great mothers everywhere. Thank you for all you do.