by Texas A&M University-Commerce Marketing Communications Photography
The past two years have been the hardest two years of my life. When I say hard, I literally mean hard…physically and emotionally hard. The type of hard that can drive you crazy. The type of hard that keeps you so busy it can make you wonder if you are loosing your identity as a person. The type of hard that makes you want to warn all others who might be entering a similar situation to flee as fast as possible. I can’t complain too much about it because it was mostly self-inflicted. I had some input into the situation and maybe could have had some things work out differently but I made the choices I made for one simple reason: I love my wife.
It all started just almost four years ago. My wife had recently given birth to our third son, Luke, and we were talking about the future. Did we want to have a fourth child was seriously on our mind. At some point over the weeks we were talking, she made a decision. Three children were enough. I think for her that matched her family experience as she came from a family of three children. I was on board with her decision as well, except for the fact that now our family would have only five members, which for someone analytical like myself means that we would have an uneven number. Four or six is a much more logical number. For instance, whenever we ride a ride at an amusement park, someone would have to be a single. That bothered me.
One of the questions I had for her was what did she want to do once all three of our children were in school. I could see the look of concern on her face when she thought about the future. She was pretty sure she wanted to work somewhere and in the past has had several different types of positions but none of them were what you would call fulfilling. At some point in our discussion, she decided to share with me one of her dream jobs. “You know, something that I would love to do, is to be a nurse.” Great! I loved that idea. Go for it. She would be a great nurse. She is a really good mother and is wonderful at taking care of our special needs son. (Now, when I am sick she thinks I am a baby, so that attitude might need a little work.) Working as a nurse would give her a rewarding career, flexible schedule and good monetary income. Think about all the golf I could now play!
Photo by Seth Rader
“I need a break from our children.” That is what my wife greeted me with when I arrived at the house yesterday after work. My initial thought was “Yes, absolutely. You have been with them all day long.” Then, I began to live out the last few months in my mind. Actually, I am the one who has been with the children the most by a significantly large margin because of her nursing school schedule. After nicely pointing that out to her, she rephrased her statement. “WE need a break from our children.” Ah, yes, to that I completely agree. It is critical for parents to find times to be together without their children.
Now that she and I are in total agreement, we will continue our daily life and will most likely never set aside time to get away together, even though we know we need it. Is it because we don’t love each other? No. Is it because we don’t like spending time together? No, that is not it easier. Is it because our children are so horrible that no one wants to watch them? Well…I don’t think that is it but sometimes I wonder. The truth is all parents have a hard time spending time together but for parents of kids with special needs, it can sometimes seem downright impossible.
Attribute: Koshy Koshy
I am going to let you in on a little secret. Now, I have revealed this to a very few select individuals so the simple fact that I am telling you should make you feel pretty special. On top of that, it is probably one of the most unmasculine things I could say. So, here goes…deep breath…I love Hallmark Channel Christmas Movies! Whew. That was hard. I am so glad I got that out. The mounting pressure was unbelievable. I don’t know why I like them, I just do. Yes, there is often more cheese in there than a bowl of queso. Even stranger is the fact that I watch them by myself, not forced to watch them by my wife. Hallmark Christmas Movies make the holidays great.
My wife is finishing up her last year of nursing school. To say she has been busy is an understatement. In the past two years, she has either been working, studying or sleeping most evenings. I think that is how I came to enjoy the Hallmark Christmas movies. I have spent many nights taking care of our children as a way to support my wife as she pursues her dream of becoming an RN. I have successfully watched all Christmas movies released for the 2013 season and, as of this writing, have watched all the movies released for 2014. Plus, I think I have just about seen all the reruns from previous seasons as well. The love stories are the ones I like the most. There is something about watching everything fall apart for almost two hours, then in the last 5 minutes, everything changes for the better and the two realize their love for each other.
(Man, I am having a hard time writing all this mushy stuff. Camo, guns, tools and trucks! I just had to throw those things in there to get me back on a more masculine line of thinking.)