The Wife I Want To Be

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Dear Husband,

I want to be her. The woman you deserve. The one who greets you at the door with a smile and a hug and who thanks you for working hard and who offers you a plate of cookies. Who's got supper in the oven and the kids playing nicely and the house clean and tidy. Who asks you about your day, helps you with your coat and listens intently to everything you say. Because you deserve that.

She wouldn't thrust her newborn into your arms and beg you to entertain the boys, the house, disheveled like her hair because she hasn't had time to run a comb let alone wash it, and supper is a frozen pizza, again, because somehow she lost time between trying to do some laundry and soothing a colicky baby and begging the boys to get along, please, while Mommy slowly loses her mind.

I am her. That woman with the disheveled hair. And I wonder if I'll ever wear a shirt that doesn't have spit-up on it again. If I'll ever not have a headache again. If I'll ever have time to pour over recipe books or bake you cookies or keep the house clean and tidy for you. If I'll ever greet you at the door with the kind of energy and enthusiasm I used to feel. If I'll ever show you the kind of respect you've earned. 

Because I want to.

And you tell me that's enough.

You tell me this as you take our screaming baby and tell me to go for a run, to get out of the house because "You need some sunshine, Em," you say, and the boys wrap their arms around you as I walk out the door.

And when I get back, you've got the pizza cooked and the table's set and you pull me into your arms and you smell so good, like wood smoke, and you kiss me like I don't have spit-up on my shirt. And you listen to me tell you about my day, you listen like you care, like we haven't been married 12 years and like I didn't forget to ask you about YOUR day. You listen, and you pour me a glass of wine and hand me a plate of pizza.

Maybe it was our rough start. Maybe it was the three years of anorexia and sleepless nights and you wondering if I'd ever eat again and me wondering if I'd ever be full again, but somehow I love you more now than I ever did and I'm full. I'm so very full. 

You're not perfect, and I'm not either, but together we make a broken whole, together we can do it--this life filled with colic and mismatched socks and parents who have cancer and prayers that go unanswered. We can do it, because we need each other. And that's the glue.

That, and lots of forgiveness and bouquets of brightly colored daisies. 

Thank you for loving me.

Here's to the next 12 years--and forever.

Love, Em.