At my wedding, I was older than most of the other brides I knew. Already past 30, after being voted "Girl who dated the most" by my college classmates (please note that the titles "Most likely to succeed" and "Best scholar" did not stop to land on my head) I had finally found the man with whom I could live forever. We were a somewhat unlikely pair, but we knew we were perfect for each other. Checkered and I had a strong relationship and I was certain it would only get better.
On that part, I was correct.
In the years following that wedding, we welcomed the birth of our baby. We did that four times over. And somewhere along the way during my late nights with my four kids, holding them while they burned with fever or struggled through an asthma attack or simply because I could, I decided to be the type of woman I would want my boys to marry someday. Yes. I genuinely believed that was perfectly logical.
I would be THE role-model of working mother: professional yet completely attentive feminine mother. My boys would someday seek a woman of determination yet compassion. They would find a wife who would be gentle, at times unpredictably exciting, and exceptionally bright. The "cookie cutter just like every other woman out there" model would be a wife they would each summarily reject in deference to their loyalty to a woman just like me.
SO, the kids and I had some conversations this week-end. I needed to know that each one was on-track to a perfect understanding of what the term "wife" means. They are old enough to have seen the type of marriage their dad and I have. I expected that they would value our style of marriage complete with its equality, goofiness, and genuine enjoyment of each other.
The conversations left me, shall we say... a bit unsettled...confused...frightened.
Girl (age 12.11 years): This girl is sounding okay and rather age appropriate in her dreams of what the perfect husband will be:
1. He must make her laugh. (This sounds like her dad. Good sign.)
2. He must be nice. (This surely is her dad.)
3. He must like spending ample time going to fun places. (Sorry, Checkered, 2 out of 3 isn't so bad.)
Boy #1 (age 10): This guy is really headed toward self-actualization and maturity and a bit of redundancy. The three qualities he thinks are essential in a wife are:
1. She respects her husband.
2. She loves her husband.
3. She cares for her husband.
Boy# 3 (age 6): This guy is young, but I believe we still have cause for a little concern. The three qualities he thinks are essential in a wife are:
1. She must do whatever he says.
2. She should ideally buy him a PlayStation 3.
3. She should cook better than everybody else.
(We should also note here that last week he also said his wife will be named Caution. I'm okay with that. It should also be noted that he isn't opposed to marrying someone already married to lots of other people.)
And then there's Boy #2 (age 8): This one is, well to put it in the words of the ER nurse during his last visit there, "I expect that we'll see this one here again." After living with me - his number one wife/woman role model for 8 years, these are the top three qualities he's looking for in a wife:
1. She must be a woman.
2. She must have babies called humans.
3. She must have a breast. (Please note the singular noun, breast. Just one.)
And now you'll excuse me as I evidently have some reinventing to do with myself.