We went to Miami in January. It was heaven on earth for Max and Brooks. Max keeps talking about it and insists that we will live there one day. Brooks, instead of calling it Miami, as in “my-ami,” started calling it “Daddy-ami.” This is adorably hilarious and aside from being another indication of his especially clever mind, it is evidence of the sentiment the boys have for Dear Ol’ Dad.
Daddy is DADDY-AMI!!! He is a crucial vacation in the middle of winter. When Daddy comes home, it is wild-chasing and tickles. It is loud and it is laughter! It’s a dance party on the coffee table. It’s chaotic, beautiful and fun.
The boys idolize their father. At this age, they appreciate Dad as a real-life superhero. He can do almost anything… and if he can’t do it, he knows just who to hire to do the job! 😉
Somehow Max and Brooks know Erich is the witty parent. They look to him for confirmation if they are unsure laughing is an appropriate response. Both boys try their best to come up with their own funny phrases, but Dad has the ultimate arsenal of knock-knock jokes. (In all fairness, Brooks actually thinks of himself as the funniest Cabe around… He laughs loudest at his own jokes, but Erich is a close second in his mind.)
They know Erich is the hard-nosed one but they also know he is tender. Max will sometimes say that he has a bad dream in the middle of the night just so that he can get in some snuggle time with Dad.
They have been taught to appreciate that Erich has to work hard for our family. They vaguely understand the concept of work but they like to role-play that they have special meetings with clients just like Daddy.
Erich oftentimes works from home. His office is one of our favorite playrooms. We will play in there just be around him. At times, this is much to the detriment of Erich’s productivity and professional phone presence. Yet, his door almost always remains open and he keeps inviting us back.
These are all amazing qualities that I admire in Erich too. There are, in fact, many more that I could add to the list. From this presentation, one could gather that we are the picture perfect family. I assure you, it is not all sunshine and sandy beaches. The boys trust us infinitely. They think that whatever Mom and Dad decide is not only right and good but also the only way in the world. Conversely, Erich and I see the things the other does and all too often question its purpose immediately.
Just this morning, some “helpful” advice Erich gave me ended up with me screaming at him while he was in the shower. I was so mad, I actually had to control the urge to smash my coffee cup against the wall. (P.S. I didn’t have a temper before I met Erich. 😇)
I have said before that we go to counseling. This is not a last-ditch effort to save our marriage. Strangely enough, we enjoy our time there. We joke that this is our day date. Our therapist is our chaperone. It is there that we say things to each other that we wouldn’t normally consider bringing up. We can have our most difficult conversations in a civil manner.
I am grateful for our relationship: the ups and downs, the disagreements and the peace. We have a healthy exchange of opinions (sometimes too healthy). We can express our feelings and then can usually meet somewhere in the middle for a solution. He respects my opinion and supports my decisions, as do I his.
We often get so caught up in the struggles of the day-to-day that we neglect to acknowledge the foundation. The efforts that Erich makes on behalf of our family often go underappreciated. Erich works hard and as a result, I have been able to stay at home with the boys during these early years. I am grateful but don’t feel beholden to Erich because of this dynamic. I work hard too and am sacrificing my own personal career advancement in favor of my maternal instinct.
Still, I don’t say, “I appreciate you” nearly enough. I can profess the love of my children until I’m blue in the face, but for most everyone else I hide my admiration. I did not grow up in an overly sentimental household. I’m pretty sure that I’ve never told my older sister that I love her. My grandmother ❤️, in fact, much preferred the phrase, “Gotcha last!” Articulating fondness of another person doesn’t come easily to me yet today I feel compelled to share a list of my husband’s characteristics for which I am grateful.
I know part of my motivation in sharing these musings is because of a memorial I attended this weekend. I went to a service for a young man who was called away from this life all too soon. His friends gathered and said such nice things about his influence on their lives and explained how they felt about him. I wondered if he could hear us. I wish he could have know how loved he was while he was still alive. I wonder if it would have mattered. After hearing these testimonials, I consider those that I love most wonder if they know their value to the world.
Erich and I shared a long hard year. I have come out of it changed for the better, I think. I also have a new outlet and hobby with which to process stress. My husband just has work and more work. Like so many of us, he is driven to do better and better. He is always pushing himself to be more than yesterday and acts as if that wasn’t enough. I’m not sure he sees the things in himself that we get to appreciate everyday.
The point of this blog is not to verbalize my regard for everyone all the time. That would become annoying. The point of this is blog is to make one proclamation of respect. I also I really wanted to tell the Daddy-ami story! 🙂