Twelve years ago this journey began. Our twin boys were six and I initially just wrote about the cute stuff they did. In fact, the name of this blog came to be because one day I heard them chanting “ihopeiwinatoaster; ihopeiwinatoaster” over and over in the basement. Time passed, I tried to go a little deeper, say important things. However, those cute boys are at university now and their stories are their own. So, what’s an old blogger to do? Well, I guess that’s what I am trying to find out.
A select few hurt my heart a little but, overall, it
has been relatively easy to write the pieces I’ve done here over the past eight
years – four-hundred-and-eight-eight of them. Earlier on I was so blinded
by and enamored of the boys that, honestly, if there hadn’t been the time
restraints, it’d be in the thousands.
As the boys got older, I attempted to transition away
from talking about them, I started talking about myself. It is both easy
and hard, liberating and confining, joyful and miserable, to talk about
oneself. I’ve taken to it alright, though, with the exception of how to
present the other players in my past. I’ve tried to skirt the issue – you
know, the old “the names have been changed…” thing – but anyone I’ve
represented in these tales would immediately recognize themselves in my
words. This has made some stories impossible to tell, some of which I’d
very much like to share.
You may wonder, as you often do, what I am getting at.
I’d like to tell you a little bit about my wife,
Marci. I’m in a weird situation here, the vast majority of the folks that
read this know her, so, I don’t really need to give her curriculum vitae.
I don’t really feel like it’s my business to share her business, so, there’s no
need to tell you all what she does, short of that what she does is in service
She’s a wonderful wife and mother. She’s my best
friend and confidant. She’s funny and cute and usually pretty
happy. She is kind and understanding and clever and…
Listen, I could tell you about this Christmas, about
how the Nintendo Switch the boys got glitched out and “error code” died.
She got on her phone and laptop and dealt with it for hours. In less than
two days a new one arrived and the old one was gone. I would have just
gone ballistic on someone and we’d still be waiting for resolution.
I could tell you about how just this week the boys
needed to work a rough plan for classes and “paths” and requisites, both pre
and co, and such for high school next year. She patiently sat down with
each of them and figured it out. She went to the parent orientation, met
their counselor (no doubt a new friend, she’s good like that), quickly
understood the whole process, all of that, and then patiently sat down with each
of them and figured it out. I found it all overwhelming and, frankly,
I’d’ve sucked at helping them, that’s the truth.
I could tell you how easily she makes friends, how
she’s good friends with the ex-wife of an old college friend of mine and
the current spouse of another, and they get together more than I see my old
pals. People are drawn to her. People care deeply for her.
She shines. Me, not so much.
I could go on with these “I coulds” but I won’t.
What I will say is this, she’s made me a better
I am kinder because of her.
I am more joyful because of her.
I am stronger in my Faith because of her.
I am more content than I have ever been because of
My love has never run so deep.
Because of her I have a family and a home and a dinner
table and good shoes and self-worth and… sons – things I never knew I wanted or
were even possible for me.
Dreams I never knew to dream have come true.
She’s given me so much and I’ve no idea how to thank
her for it all.
There’s a song from a band called Sister Hazel, the
“It's hard to say what it is I see in you
Wonder if I'll always be with you
But words can't say,
And I can't do
Enough to prove,
It's all for you.”
It might seem trite, cliché even, but it’s true.
Can I be honest with you? Over the years I’ve
read a lot of bloggers and the like who seem to, well, bitch a lot about how
hard being a parent, especially a stay-at-home-parent, can be. Mostly
they complain about the labor of washing and cleaning and cooking and such, but
they also whine about how emotionally difficult it can be. I’ve never
felt that way, in fact I’m always surprised at, and, even found offensive, some
of these notions.
I’m not saying it isn’t hard, ‘cause it really
is, or that it’s not emotionally draining, because, well… kids. But, to
resent that seems counter-indicated at best, but, mostly, it just seems sad.
I don’t hate every load of laundry I do, every floor I
sweep, every meal I prepare. I don’t sit and seethe on the tractor as I
mow the lawn on a hot summer day. I don’t wait fuming in the school
parking lot waiting for play practice to let out. I don’t mind the
snow-shoveling or the weeding or the wood-splitting.
I never cussed at the dirty diapers, or projectile
vomiting. I never hated the messes. Never rued the long trips in
car seats or the hot afternoon t-ball games.
I won’t hate waiting up late for them to get home as
they get older. I will not be afraid to teach them to drive in just a
couple of years. I won’t question their decisions – if made wisely – or try to
Do I, did I, will I find these things hard? Of
course, yes, labor and hard emotional effort suck sometimes. But, I knew
I was better for doing them, in fact, I know it's the least I can do for what
But, more than anything, I love what I have been given
the opportunity to do.
It is because of Marci that I have this chance - this
chance to be of service, to help, to teach, to love, to preach, to be a good
“It’s all for you,” sweetheart, you’re the best
one. I cannot underemphasize that.
On February second, two-thousand-and-two we were
married at Bellarmine Chapel on the campus of Xavier University.
And, yes, the second of February is indeed Groundhog
Day, thanks for asking. (There was a groundhog groom's cake. True
Thanks for coming around today. Try to remember
the honor and joy at serving others and at being served.
I hope it's not seemed to corny, but, love goes that
way sometimes, don't it?