I’d like to take this opportunity to brag on my husband a little… Okay, a lot. And maybe brag is the wrong word; it’s not a boastful sentiment I want to express as much as one of cherishing my husband.
Since Baby Henrik was born, my man has been absolutely outstanding in the departments of Husband and Father.
For starters, I know how overwhelming it is to be needed 24/7- the kids make sure I don’t forget that. But I also know my husband is needed by those he works with in addition to our children, and me, and I know how much pressure he places on himself to be above average in everything he does. Let me just say, he hasn’t disappointed.
Yesterday, he was Superman and brought home our new batch of baby chicks, and set up a brooding room. He was running around getting all the food and water set up and – this is how deeply this man loves animals- introduced each chick to water (which is a given) but then stayed and watched them until he was sure each chick had eaten and gotten water on it’s own. He came out of the brooding room with an unusual expression on his face and I asked him what was the matter.
He said, “eeeek! I’m so anxious!” He’s not one to experience anxiety so I prodded.
“Anxious about what?”
“My babies!” He answered, referring to his new chicks and not to our biological human children.
He has such a heart for animals and that was on full display yesterday and it reminded me how “soft” he is even though he doesn’t like to verbally express mushy emotion.
Then, he was playing with our kids. He does little common sense things with them that in the heat of the moment my brain doesn’t even think about because of trying to process and prioritize tasks. He set each toddler up at the table with their own can of playdough while I prepared meals or fed the baby. Ingenious! It absolutely makes sense- occupy them so Mom can have space. But it honestly never even crossed my mind to deploy the playdough. Another big win for Papa.
After nap time, he proposed we all go on a walk as a family. I LOVE family walks. And I’m finally feeling up for them. We went the whole 2 mile loop around our neighborhood; Henrik in my Moby wrap (which is a HUGE lifesaver when it comes to needing free hands), and the other two kiddos in our double stroller (our oldest takes it in turn to walk and ride), and our Border Collie, Cyd on leash next to me. The walks are good for everyone- it’s my husband’s way of making sure I get some of the cardio exercise time I crave, and it gets the kids out in the fresh air and sunshine. Not to mention the family time we get to spend together.
After dinner, he cleaned up the left-overs, put them in the refrigerator, and cleaned off the table. This freed me up to feed the baby again, and then read to and tuck in the toddlers. After that I finished up the dishes and my husband finished his homework.
Did I say homework? Yes. Yes, I did. Because in addition to all of the other work, farming, husband, and dad responsibilities, he is also a full-time student finishing up his bachelor’s degree in Biblical studies and theology.
It was the kind of day that made me just look at him through fresh eyes and think, Wow! Look at all this man does for us, for our family. And he doesn’t utter a single complaint.
I could stand to take lessons.
But it was also one of those days that reminded me that he is human, and his success on super hero days is entirely dependent on God to sustain him. Because what my husband doesn’t know is that a couple nights ago, after I had already gone to bed with the baby, I noticed him come in the room. I noticed him slip into pajamas, set his alarm, and then get down on his knees in prayer.
I don’t know what he prayed for, though I have a sneaking suspicion he interceded for me and the challenge of being on my own with 3 small children for 12-15 hours while he’s at work, because by God’s grace, it’s been an absolute joy today and not at all stressful or overwhelming. Thank you, Jesus!
But in that moment, with his head bowed, humbled before the Lord, I saw his strength. I saw his spiritual leadership, and I saw that his heart belongs first to Christ. And that is more than I could ever have dreamed for in a husband and father to our children.