Today is Thursday, which means I’m kid-free for three whole hours. I’m at the coffee shop, as I usually am, because my rule is that I must stay out of the house as long as possible on my weekly morning off. A change in surroundings does wonders for me. As I ordered my large latte and an even larger apple-cinnamon-bran muffin, Jon the barista said, “You look very happy this morning.”
Suddenly, one of the regulars sitting behind me spoke up: “I don’t think I’ve ever seen you not smiling.”
I laughed. “Oh, well, that must be because you always see me on the mornings I don’t have kids!”
“No,” he insisted. “I’ve seen you around town and you’re always smiling.”
Then, a man I’ve never seen before looked up from his newspaper and commented, “You must have a good husband.”
I turned to stare at him in surprise because, in one single phrase, he’d managed to pinpoint exactly what makes much of my life so happy. “Yes, I do,” I said. “My husband is wonderful.”
And now I’m sitting here at a table in the window, sipping my latte and dreaming about that man who has been the best thing that ever happened to me. Jason and I have been together for five years, married for almost three, and I still wake up every single morning with a sparkle of inner electricity at the thought of being together. He’s my best friend, understands my personality, intuits my thought processes, and offers excellent advice. He’s a dedicated father who adores his little boys, yet still understands the importance of making time for us alone. Something that I especially appreciate at this stage of our life is how much he helps out. He comes home from work and, no matter how exhausting his day has been, starts cleaning up, changing diapers, playing with the kids, starting dinner prep, or doing a load of laundry.
It really irritates me when I hear people bashing marriage, which happens all the time. Marriage has a horrible reputation for being some kind of prison. I can’t tell you how many times people said to me when I was engaged, “Enjoy your freedom while it lasts…har, har, har!” I felt like snapping at them, “Please don’t confuse my marriage with your crappy one.”
Marriage has been the most liberating, exciting, and gratifying step of my adult life and I can honestly say that I can’t wait to spend the rest of my life with my ‘good husband’ who, apparently, makes happiness radiate out of me.