Hear ye, hear ye! Today, April 18, is officially Husband Appreciation Day. I had no idea. Surely there’s no special day more worthy of celebration. Mind you, as it happens it is also National Lineman Day, National Haiku Poetry Day, and National Velociraptor Awareness Day, so the opportunities for celebration are truly boundless.
Before I begin my celebration of Husband Appreciation Day, I should give a shoutout to all our linemen on their big day. If you’re like us and live in blizzard and ice storm territory, or if you live in hurricane or tornado country, you know how brave these men are and how critical – and potentially dangerous – their work is. Climbing up poles and being hoisted up in buckets high above the ground to work with electrical wires is not something most of us would want to do. In the very worst weather, too. Yikes. And their hard work is all in aid of getting that power back on so we can be warm (or cool), refrigerate and cook our food, and get back to our Internet. Thank you, linemen!
As well, before I express my appreciation to my husband on this important day, let me take a moment to help raise awareness of the now thankfully-extinct velociraptor. Thanks to the movie Jurassic Park and the manufacturers of all those tiny little plastic dinosaurs, the ones that hurt so much when you step on them, awareness is relatively high already. Especially if you’re a Toronto Raptors fan! I’m pretty sure our oldest grandson knows all about the velociraptor and every other known species of dinosaurs to boot. How many of you have sons or grandsons who know their dinosaurs? OK, now how many of you have daughters or granddaughters who really know their dinosaurs? That’s my category and I will admit to needing to have my awareness raised.
Just a quick word of praise for the short-but-mighty haiku on its big day. Three lines, comprised of 5 syllables, 7 syllables, 5 syllables. No rhyming necessary. How special is that? Why don’t more of us write haiku poems?!
Now for the main event: why I appreciate my husband every day. My husband of nearly 53 years. For most of us – I hope for all of us – our relationships begin because of a physical spark along with common interests. And long may that physical spark reign. But physical spark alone can’t sustain a marriage over the long term, certainly not over 50+ years. Or 25 years. Or even 10 years. Life brings lots of challenges to all of us along with its moments of joy, and meeting those challenges takes more than that physical spark, even if that can help! With a little luck, the common interests you start with are the seeds that sow a lifetime of shared experiences that strengthen your bond, nurtured by mutual respect and support. My husband and I are among the lucky ones who have managed this.
Why do I appreciate my husband? Well, let’s see.
- I love his strong belief in feminism. As a male born before the baby boom even started, and growing up as the only boy in a house of 3 sisters, a mother and grandmother in addition to his father, one might have expected some chauvinist behaviour. But quite the contrary. His proactive support for women to reach their full potential and his displeasure at witnessing sexist behaviour have been a constant. Even the occasional time when I would have welcomed any signal as an excuse not to take on a new challenge, he’d encourage me to go for it. Quite the guy.
- I love that we are equal partners in life. We have some things we leave to the other – snowblowing and, when we had the farm, cleaning out the pigs I left to him for sure, cooking anything not on the BBQ he leaves to me – but most other things we take on by choice or we share. For the record, he not only takes out the garbage, he does all the laundry!
- I love our mutual appreciation for what’s important to the other person; that’s a big part of loving each other.
- I love his unrelenting commitment to both physical and mental exercise every day.
- I love what a great father he’s been and how much pleasure he takes in watching his grown children be great dads and husbands.
- I love how much joy he gets from watching his grandchildren play, learn, and grow, even when so much of the watching has to be by FaceTime.
- I love his lifelong passion for learning and trying new things.
- I love that he wanted to try farming. Boy, did we learn a lot.
- I love his lifelong enthusiasm for travel and exploring new places and learning about the history and culture of those places. And the animals!
- I love that now that our bodies are telling us that we can’t travel so easily anymore, he is comfortable with our new reality instead of feeling frustrated or discouraged.
I guess what it boils down to is that I am enormously appreciative that we chose each other all those many years ago, all because of that physical spark and a common interest in an X-Ray diffraction machine!
It seems only appropriate to close with a haiku for the occasion:
the finest part of my life,
my husband, best friend.