September 25, 2007
A few days ago, one of Jared's old buddies from Maine called to share the great news that his wife is expecting. From what Jared told me, it was your standard pregnancy conversation with comments like:
"Aw, that's great man!" and "We couldn't be any happier for you guys!" and "Seriously, congratulations dude. I'm so stoked."
But before they got off the phone, there was a quick change in the direction of the conversation. According to Jared, Mike's voice became more serious, as though he was preparing to drop some sort of bombshell on my husband.
"Dude, I've gotta let you know that your wife has a blog, and I read it. I don't know if you know about the blog or not, but she writes about all of your fights. I mean, she tells everyone all the details of your arguments."
When Jared relayed the conversation to me, I got the distinct impression that Mike doesn't exactly like what I do--it occurred to me that he might it find disrespectful. And of course, it stopped me in my tracks.
I started to do a bit of self-examination, and asked myself a very tough question--Why do I do what I do?
Do I put my husband, my child and myself on the line every single day to get a laugh? Yes, I absolutely do. Do I do it to humiliate or degrade my family? No, of course not.
You've got to understand that Jared Lawson is the undisputed love of my life. I have more respect for my husband than I do for any other person in this world. He is the most honest, sincere, and forgiving person that I have ever known. But the characteristic that I admire most about Jared, is his willingness to change and his propensity toward self-betterment. Never in my life have I met a man who is so willing to put himself in a position of vulnerability in order to tackle his weaknesses.
Jared thanks me every single day for the work I do to keep this family running. He trusts me with our finances, and compliments me every time a wear a bit of makeup. He's never missed any of my races, and has taught James how to yell "Go Mommy!" when I run by them on the course. Jared is 100% confident that I will qualify for the Boston Marathon, or accomplish any other goal that I put my heart into.
Despite all of his wonderful qualities, marriage is quite certainly the toughest project I've ever taken on. Jared is stubborn, and generally impossible when he's stressed. His text messaging might land us in the poor house, and I swear he likes to keep the air conditioner at its 'freezer setting.'
Yes, I know, these are minor inconveniences, and little quirks like those should never weaken a strong and happy marriage. But I'm sorry to say that they do. If you look at the national divorce rate, which hovers somewhere between 40 and 50%, I would have to guess that 'the little quirks' can easily overtake the 'wonderful qualities,' and I refuse to let that happen to me.
I make light of my husband's minor shortcomings for a very simple reason--they deserve to be made fun of. I take his major struggles seriously, I take his strengths and talents very seriously, and I don't take his minor flaws seriously at all.
I do what I do because my marriage is far from perfect, and I'm unwilling to put on a show. That would offer nothing to me, my husband, or the reader.
I do what I do because marriage is ridiculously difficult, and I want my readers to know that they're not alone in their frustrations.
I poke fun at my mothering for the very same reason. Parenting can really beat you down if you let it--I try not to let it.
I'm not perfect--that's the one thing I'll certainly never be able to change. But I'm going to have as much fun with my imperfections as I possibly can.
That's why I do what I do.