Posts Tagged ‘ wife ’

Happy 30th Birthday to My Wife!

Thursday, August 11th, 2011

Eight months.

There have been more than a few people who were surprised when they learned that I am not married to a girl in her early 20′s; instead I am only three months older than she is. Today, my wife Jill turns 30 years old.

We were both born in 1981, graduated high school in 1999, and had our first child in 2010. Not only is my wife my best friend, but we have experienced the same amount of living. In 2007 when we started dating, our timelines became one as we have shared our lives together ever since.

For our first dance at our wedding reception in 2008, we actually had two songs played back to back: “Everything” by Michael Buble was a more natural, understandable selection, which represented our “normal” sides.  But we felt the need to also include a song that represented our mutual quirkiness, too.  So we chose the weirdly beautiful, “The Luckiest” by Ben Folds.

In “The Luckiest,” Ben Folds explores the idea of the importance of a shared timeline, answering the idea of what life would be like had the love of his life not been born in the right year:

“What if I’d been born fifty years before you
In a house on a street where you lived?
Maybe I’d be outside as you passed on your bike
Would I know?”

I imagine the statistical chances of the two of us being born in the same basic era of time, as opposed to decades or centuries apart. Instead, we were born in the same year and did find each other.

Jill and I have this plan to die naturally in our sleep while holding hands when we are 80 years old.  Sure, we realize we have zero control over the previous sentence ever becoming true, but it’s how we’d like to think our shared love comes to an earthly end.

Speaking of, “The Luckiest” also addresses this issue:

“Next door there’s an old man who lived to his nineties
And one day passed away in his sleep.
And his wife; she stayed for a couple of days
And passed away.
I’m sorry, I know that’s a strange way to tell you that I know we belong.”

The two of us are normal enough to play Michael Buble at our wedding reception for our first dance, but we’re also off-beat enough to play a Ben Folds song that talks about the “luckiness” of being born in the same time era, as well as, dying near the same time in old age.

I’m aware of my natural ability to be weird and abstract.  But somehow that worked for me and my wife chose to spend her life with me.  To quote Ben Folds one last time:

“I love you more than I have ever found a way to say to you… I am the luckiest.”

Happy Birthday Jill!

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The Intertwining Role of Father and Husband

Wednesday, June 8th, 2011

Six months.

baby crib

I had a sneaking suspicion that a realization was setting in: that at least in my mind, I can’t be a good father without being just as good of a husband as well. The more I processed it, the more I believed it: The role of father and husband are completely intertwined and inseparable.  However, I didn’t just want to take my own word for it.  It’s times like these when I ask the world of Facebook and Twitter.

Something I have learned/taught myself from blogging since August 2005 is the importance of being my own devil’s advocate; addressing any potential arguments by simply answering them before a reader ever has the opportunity to bring them up. Therefore, I knew not to ask the question: “Can a man be a good father without being a good husband?”. Because I personally know men who are wonderful fathers despite being divorced, separated or widowed.

So I cleverly asked my social networking friends, “Can a married man be a good father without being a good husband?”. I received convincing answers from both sides, but ultimately I realized the way I asked the question wasn’t clever enough. Because some of the people who answered “yes” made the point that many moms and dads are stuck in unhappy marriages, mainly staying together for the kids. And while that is sad to hear, I know it’s true.

The DadabaseIn the journey of confirming my perception of the intertwining roles of a father and husband, I learned a better question to ask: “Can a happily married man be a good father without being a good husband?” My own personal answer to that question is “no.”  And if a man could actually be happily married while being a good father and a sub-par husband, most likely he would be taking advantage of his wife somehow, like by not doing his fare share of the household duties.  The man would be living in an ignorant bliss while his wife would be living in a world of “unappreciation.”  So while the man would be happily married, the woman would not.

After all my failed attempts at trying to ask a particular question, the best version is actually, “Can a happily married man in a mutually happy marriage be a good father without being a good husband?”.

Of course I get it that a man can be a better father than he is a husband, but I believe a good father would also be highly concerned with improving his husbandly skills.  I just can’t separate a good father from a good husband, in my mind, at least.

Most importantly I realized that the question isn’t one that can be answered by anyone else anyway. It can only be answered by me, a happily married man who is part of a marriage in which neither party will settle for mediocre.  My wife and I decided from the very beginning that we would end up being one of those old couples who still held hands; who still deliberately go on dates no matter what distractions in life come along.

daddy

Last weekend my wife and I were at Earth Fare, an organic grocery store, having a coffee date.  The woman making our coffees randomly asked us how long we had been married.  Up until that point, she didn’t know anything about us other than what she had observed by watching us wait for our coffee and learning our appreciation for the delicious cookie samples we partook of at the counter.  “This July will be three years,” we answered.

“You act just like newlyweds!” she replied.

For me, a man who is obsessed with being a good father and a good husband in a mutually happy marriage, that’s one of the best compliments I can receive.

baby in crib

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Nervous, Preoccupied and Spaced Out

Friday, November 5th, 2010

Thirty-nine weeks.

Today was my wife’s last doctor’s appointment before the due date (November 11th), which it just one week from today.  She is dilated one centimeter and effaced 50 percent.  However, the nurse told us today that it is common for first time moms to go a week past their due date.  But still, it could happen at any time.

For the past week now, I’ve noticed that I have been completely spaced out.  My mind is obviously preoccupied with knowing that our “Jack-in-the-box” could spring out any moment.  People have asked me if I’m getting nervous- to my surprise, the answer is yes.  I thought I was over that stage.  But the first time I got nervous, around a month ago, it was because of the realization I don’t really know what to do with a newborn baby.  Now that we’ve finished our Lamaze course, I’m much more confident on the basics of how to help care for Baby Jack.  The thing that makes me nervous now is knowing that I have to see my wife in pain and discomfort, for hours.  No matter how easy it could end up happening, it will still be difficult.

People have asked me if I think I will pass out during the delivery.  The answer: a simple “no”.  Blood and guts don’t bother me.  Besides, unlike the reality TV star of the moment Kody Brown (Sister Wives), I will not be on the “receiving end” while my wife is giving birth.  I don’t need to see his head coming out.  Instead, I will be holding my wife’s hand, or at least beside her, as he’s being born.

Speaking of blood and guts, my wife and I have come up with some exciting plans for the weekend- that way, even if our baby isn’t born in the next few days, at least we can be busy and entertained otherwise.  And we don’t have to just sit around getting anxious.  So either way, we win:  Saturday morning we have brunch plans with some friends- I’m very excited about the meatloaf and mashed potatoes at the place we’re going.  Then Saturday afternoon, my wife and her mom (who is in town for the next couple of weeks) will be getting a facial.  (I guess I’ll read a book during that time.)  Next, we will go to the matinee: I will see Saw 3D (finally explaining the “blood and guts” reference), while my wife and her mom see something a little more light-hearted, yet appropriate for the upcoming event: Life as We Know It.

That’s right- my mother-in-law got into town Sunday night and plans to be here through the end of the month.  If the audience of dad from day one was male, I would have to take a page to humorously explain that though my mother-in-law is living with us, it’s not a wacky, cliché sitcom sort of deal.  I can’t complain.  When I come home from work, dinner is already ready- as my wife has had help preparing it.  As well as the fact that her mom immediately takes care of the dishes afterwards.

People have asked me if I’m planning on taking off a while from work once the baby is born.  At this moment, I’m thinking I’ll take off just a couple of days.  Because fortunately, I won’t be leaving my wife alone- she will have her mom there with her until I get home.  We are very blessed that my mother-in-law has chosen to stay with us.

Those are my final thoughts as a man who has yet to see his son.  Everything is about to change.  Unless Baby Jack stays in past his due date, the next dad from day one will be “Baby Jack is Here!”  Pictures of him will be included, of course.

All pictures with the “JHP” logo were taken by Joe Hendricks Photography:

Blog- www.photojoeblog.com

Website- www.joehendricks.com

This is our friend Nickie's baby, not ours. Did I fool ya?

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He Who Dies Happy in Old Age, Still Dies

Thursday, September 2nd, 2010

Thirty weeks.


Ironically, while waiting for my first child to be born I am accompanied by thoughts of the finality of my own life.  Having a baby is such a huge milestone, such a life-changing event, that my mind skips decades ahead to when my kid will graduate high school, to when I will be a grandparent, and ultimately, to my inevitable passing into eternity.  In my mind, all those big events are strung together like bubbly Christmas lights from 1988.

My wife and I have this agreement that concerning our own inevitable deaths, we will die healthy but of “natural causes” in our sleep, both at age 92, holding hands.  And I would assume that most happily married people would wish for the same thing- to be able to raise their children with their spouse, to grow old with their family, and to pass this life in our right minds – not lonely and suffering in a nursing home.  I don’t consider a sudden brain aneurism, a car accident, or being mauled by a bear while hiking through the woods.  No, you see, I have carefully planned out my own “natural causes” death in a romantic and perfect way.

And that’s the only way I can think about the end of my life- with optimism.  Assuming I will live a long, happy life, giving all I can to my family.   It’s the only way I can think, because even now, two months before Baby Jack is scheduled to arrive, I am responsible for another life.  I have to be here to take care of him.  And my wife.

I truly am incapable of trying to fathom how so many people in the world don’t have a solid understanding (or at least some kind of basic perspective) of what happens after this life, and that they don’t think about it on a daily basis like I do.  How the afterlife is completely something to be considered, how beyond heaven and hell issues, this dream of life is the prequel to eternity.  And now, already, a new soul has been created, and I had something to do with that.  I have changed the course of eternity.

This baby is not just a body; he’s got a soul.  A soul that will need guidance for this life and the eternal one.  And I have to be here for that.  Even if these thoughts may seem dark and depressing to some, I refuse to ignore the reality that life and death are intertwined.  As much as I “try not to take life too seriously” like all those stupid bumper stickers and annoying e-mail forwards tell me, I still take life seriously enough to think about this stuff.

All pictures with the “JHP” logo were taken by Joe Hendricks Photography:

Blog- www.photojoeblog.com

Website- www.joehendricks.com

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The Countdown to Found Out the Gender of the Baby

Saturday, June 12th, 2010

Eighteen weeks.

In my first “dad from day one” post on April 13th (dad from day one: She’s Having a Baby), I told the almost spooky story of how my Mexican grandma dreamed she was having a granddaughter two weeks before we went public with the news that my wife was pregnant.  Since then, we have been asked on a near daily basis if we think it’s a boy or a girl.

I have found it easier this whole time just to assume my grandma’s dream is right.  And in the past couple weeks since my wife has began “showing”, it’s become pretty obvious she’s “holding the baby high”, which is typical for a girl in the womb.

I would never go see a psychic myself.  But… what happens when someone else goes to a psychic and their fortune is about you instead?

That’s exactly what happened.  Today, one of my wife’s coworkers went to a psychic as a sort of “joke birthday gift” to herself.  The fortune told: “One of your coworkers is pregnant with a girl.”

So it’s settled.  My grandma and a psychic have both had a vision about this baby girl.

Our kid is the size of a sweet potato.

Only one way to know for sure- wait until next Thursday (June 17th).  That’s when we’re officially finding out whether we’re having a boy or a girl- given that our baby isn’t crossing its legs during the procedure.

In a week’s time, I will have posted “dad from day one: The Gender of Our Baby”.

Here’s what The Bump says about our baby this week:

“Your fetus has become amazingly mobile (at least compared to you), passing the hours yawning, hiccuping, rolling, twisting, kicking, punching, sucking and swallowing. And, baby’s finally big enough that you’ll be able to feel those movements soon.”

http://community.thebump.com/cs/ks/blogs/2ndtrimester/pages/week-18-sweet-potato.aspx?r=0

All pictures with the “JHP” logo were taken by Joe Hendricks Photography:

Blog- www.photojoeblog.com

Website- www.joehendricks.com

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