Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Fairy Tales

"Fairy tales are true; not because they tell us that dragon exist, but because they tell us that they can be beaten."

~C. K. Chesterton


This is hardly an original thought but I just had it brought home to me in a new way and while it's fresh in my mind I thought I'd jot it down...

I just dropped Maizie off at school while driving our minivan which I have had to drive pretty much nonstop since Buo got his license. A woman had kind of parked at random in the middle of the lane where one is not supposed to park and walked her child inside. (In her defense, she did smile.) What this means for the rest of us is that we could either try to squeeze in behind her or pull around her and attempt to parallel park between her and the guy who was parked incorrectly in front of her while fifteen little children attempted to make it into their classes in thirty seconds running like ants exiting an anthill that has just been kicked.

But I digress.

I opted to squeeze in behind her and let Maizie out the door. I had, of course, pulled foward fairly closely so that the two other automobiles behind me (neither of whom wished to attempt the parallel parking thing) could also drop their children off. Problem? I am now stuck. The woman in front of me had not yet returned and the people behind me? Not moving either. So I begin manuevers to exit.

Here's where my little epiphany occured. I inched back, wiggled the wheel, inched forward, wiggled a bit more, back, forward, get the picture, and finally edged my way out. I breathed a sigh of relief and thought, "There really had been enough room. Guapo would have zipped right out of there. I always sweat these tight fits only to find out they're really not that tight..."

And then it hit me...

El Guapo and I are not what could reasonably be termed "tall" people but he is still several inches taller than my 5' 2" frame. When he looks over the hood of the car he's actually seeing the same thing I see but from five or six inches up which isn't actually the same thing I'm seeing at all, is it? I've been 5'2" since I started driving so things have always looked this way to me and it's how I've always looked at things. When El Guapo says, "Just pull forward already!" it's really never occured to him that I can't see that I'm safe from my angle. And when he makes what I think is a tight turn I'm not aware that he can see that he's got room.

Now, I'm usually pretty bad at analogies. (They start out strong but usually fall apart about 2/3 of the way in.) But...I think we do this quite a bit in lots of areas of our lives. We pass judgement on each others' lives, follies, foibles, mistakes, actions, and opinions without ever stopping to consider that from where they are standing it is a perfectly reasonable and valid response, no less valid than ours. Sometimes we can help each other see that a particular response is overly cautious and sometimes perhaps not cautious enough. Either way, at least in theory, there is communication and growth on both sides.

Plus, also, I am SOOOO using this the next time somebody tells me I'm a bad driver.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Love Letters

Taking a page from Nie, I have been contemplating writing a love letter to El Guapo for a long time. The thing is...El Guapo? Well, he's not really the love letter type. And I'm fine with that. I married him, right? I knew this all along. (You should hear our proposal story. Plus also, he used to ask me on dates to the library. The library!) Valentine's Day is on the way though, so I thought that it would be an appropriate time for this particular post...

Dear Darling Husband,

In honor of Valentine's Day and in honor of YOU, I wanted you to know some of the things that I love about you just in case I forgot to mention them in the almost twenty two years of marriage that we have experienced together. This will not be a typical love letter because you, my dear, are not the typical husband in my humble opinion. Read on.

1. I love you because you whistle while you work. Really. I love that puttering around the house makes you that happy. I love that replacing the kitchen sink pipes in our very old house for the seventeenth time makes you whistle and not swear.

2. I love that you gave me chocolate lips for our first Valentine's Day as a couple. (I bet you thought I didn't like them, didn't you? And I don't know if I did then...but I really do now.)

3. I love that you love your mom.

4. I really love the parrot birthday card that I made you buy me when you forgot to buy me one on my first birthday as a married woman. And I especially love the Mother's Day card that you gave me when I was just about ready to give birth to our third child that began..."Happy Mother's Day on This...Your First Mother's Day." (I've always known you didn't really actually read those cards.)

5. I love that you took me to the temple.

6. I love that it takes you FOREVER to get mad. (Now, if I could learn that and you could learn to get over it quick, like me, we'd be perfect!)

7. I love that you are always planning your next project. I get tired of the dust sometimes, I'll admit, but I love that you always want to make things nicer for us.

8. I love that you can still make me laugh. And that you still try.

9. I love how willing you are to help and serve. Anyone and everyone who asks. No matter what time it is. Or how little sleep you've had.

10. I love how much you love our children.

11. I love your dimples.

12. I love the way you look in your favorite Levi's. (They're my favorites too.)

In short, husband mine, if I had to do it all over again...knowing everything I know right now... (the good, the bad, and the ugly)...I a heartbeat.