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Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Thirty Things I Love About Heidi

This was supposed to be for Heidi's birthday--this year she turned twenty-nine for the SECOND time--but as I kept writing and writing it grew way beyond a list. Now it's practically a thesis on why I hit the lottery marrying her--and why the rest of you can just cry into your pillows because there will never be another one like her!

I'm about to just start talking and talking here, folks, so I suggest taking the phone off the hook, putting your feet up, and otherwise getting comfortable. The first one to whine, "Are we there yet?" gets a smack.

Part One: Family (See!? I even had to divide it up!)

1. Our first son, Jack. Future Robotic Engineer.
2. Our first daughter, Abby. Future Drama Queen.
3. Our second son, Joshua. Future Heartbreaker.


On 1 through 3: It's not just that we wouldn't have these three children if Heidi weren't such a courageous and determined mother; these children each bring joy to our lives because of the way they have been raised by Heidi. While I am away—feebly trying to win "the bread"—Heidi is tirelessly training up our two youngest (the oldest is in first grade now) in the disciplines of potty-training, manners, nutrition, first aid, and so forth. I come home and read one story to them, and suddenly I'm some sort of hero, but Heidi is there twenty-four-seven. Wow! Which brings us to...

4. Baby on the Way: No, this isn’t an announcement. It’s more like a foregone conclusion. Everybody knows—or will know now—that we don’t plan to stop having children, especially when our kids just get cuter and cuter! In fact, maybe I should just announce numbers 5, 6, and 7 while I’m at it, huh?

5. Patience: Nine years, people; ten if you count the year we dated. There ought to be a medal awarded by the President of the United States himself. I'm not saying it's difficult being married to me, but I wouldn't marry me--not if I knew back then what I know now!

6. Boundless Love: Knowing that three kids and umpteen fish and plants weren’t enough to use up all the love and patience Heidi has, we got a dog last year. Woof!

7. Forgiveness: Did I mention we got a dog last year? Woof.

8. Understanding: Sometimes Heidi gives me that look that says, “I don’t know what is the matter with you, and I’m not sure I want to know.” That’s a good thing to me, because understanding someone sometimes means not needing an explanation.

9. Consideration: I can’t explain this one; see number eight. It's mainly that she goes out of her way to be understanding about some things even BEFORE the fact--like she's somehow sensing the possibility of tension in the future, and avoiding it.

10. Commiseration: Sometimes you just need to know that someone is—or has been—as miserable as you are. I know Heidi feels my pain—nine years, people!

A special note about 5 through 10: I think that when a relationship falls apart, it falls apart for the lack of one or more of these qualities; I witnessed these qualities in Heidi before we were married, and I've seen her exhibit them countless times since. She's going to make a wonderful mother to more than just the three children we currently have--if she didn't possess these qualities, I don't think we would have had these three, let alone more.

Part Two: Home

11. Our Home: With characteristic modesty, she will say that she does not do as good a job as she would like to do taking care of our home. Well, I think she's doing a great job. No need to rehash here all the jobs a stay-at-home mother does; suffice it to say that Heidi does them all and does them well.

12. Our Dreams: It's an important distinction to say that Heidi's dreams are "our dreams" instead of just "her plans for our family." We have always wanted the same things, and we work hard together to make those things happen.

13. Creativity: You should see this girl scrapbook--or teach children--or build an art center and library for our children in the basement! Wow. Just...wow.

14. Work Ethic: I feel sad for all those couples out there who argue about who does how much more than the other; Heidi just sees something that needs to be done, so she does it. (She didn't learn that from me. My technique is to say, "Hey, Jack! You want to be 'in charge' of something?")

15. Lasagna: I know; lasagna is not a quality. Let’s just say that Heidi brought a lot more to the table (pun intended, ouch) than I did—when we married—in terms of palatable foods. Just the fact that she helped me graduate to meals involving more than three-step preparation will help keep me alive during those soon-to-come days when she kicks my lazy butt out for good. Oops! I’ve said too much!

Part Three: Work

16. Ambition and daring: Online entrepreneur, small business consultant, professional care provider, soccer mom. She's got it all. (And she's mine!)

17. Business sense: Thank goodness one of us has some.

18. Faith (In Me): It's one thing to dream big and go for it; it's another thing to fall and get back up again. It's not Heidi's falls that I'm talking about either--she has been there for me through career changes, moves, loss of family, and anything else that has knocked me down. Thanks to her, I got back up again.

Part Four: Fun

19. Those eyes, that smile, that walk, that voice: 'Nuff said, I think. Actually, no. Not enough said. I won't get into it here, but Heidi possesses certain "qualities" that have always attracted me to women; they're not the reasons that I asked her to marry me, but they sure do sweeten the deal. There. Now maybe I've embarrassed her enough.

20. Competitive spirit: Sure, we trade snippy comments when we play games; it's because we both have this competitive side. On the other hand, who wants to play Rook with a sissy?

21. Good taste in TV: You may think this shouldn't rank too high, but think about this: if you like the same shows, a one-hour TV show at the very least is one-hour spent sitting together, talking. If you don't like the same shows, a one-hour show is another hour separated from each other. Okay, so I have to put up with HGTV and Lifetime movies—as long as she doesn’t turn on that one channel(shudder).

...

Hey, people, come on! Are you still reading? I figured by this point, you'd have given up!

Single guys have stopped reading, because they're bored. "Ho-hum, some guy yakking about his wife, he's whipped, where are the cartoons?" Don't lie. You're thinking it; just go.

Single girls aren't buying even one third of this. "What a load of crap; he's after only one thing, and if I were her I'd check up on him! Any guy who sweet talks this much has something to hide, if you ask me!" Oh yeah? Well I DO have something to hide! I ... am a librarian!

Married men don't blog, so ... ahem.

Married women read about the first ten points and then printed this and threw it in their spouse's face, then stormed out of the house to give him time to try to figure out why he's in trouble.

If you don't fit into one of these categories ("Don't pigeonhole me!") then I'm sorry to tell you: this blog is over. I know, the title says "Thirty Things I Love About Heidi," but:

A. I can think of ten things I love about Heidi that can't go on any list anywhere, just out of sheer decency.

B. If you just can't live until you read the rest of the list, you're either OCD or reeeeeally desperate. Get a life.

C. I've been trying to post this thing for six weeks now--and as the great authors say: "Sometimes it ain't finished, but by golly it's done!" I ought to be hung for the twin crimes of missing my deadline and flat-out NOT POSTING for four weeks!

So, to make a long story short ("Too late!") I'm through here. Heidi, I love you.

Okay! Let's go to the presses, here, people! These papers don't deliver themselves!

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