My darling husband of nearly thirteen years has a lot to put up with. As the 'Engine Room' to my 'Front of House' he has patiently endured the burden of my ups and downs; energy and exhaustion; joy and gloom.
For those who know only part of my story, you may have already worked out that I’ve had a pretty bad year this year. Work has been the major cause because I had a boss whose ego skewed her powers of fairness and reason and her behaviour towards me affected my self esteem and left me feeling as though I was powerless and worthless.
Love Chunks’ t-shirts were regularly soaked with my tears as I cried out all of my confusion and hurt. During the very worst of it he arranged to take time off work, dealt with phone calls, visits and queries from family and friends, made sure that he was home with me and just took care of things. He walked Sapphire to school and picked her up when I felt too overwhelmed and embarrassed to be seen by anyone. He cooked, cleaned, ran errands and often simply sat with me, holding my hand. What on earth was he getting from this deal?
He made me laugh many times and the encircling of his strong arms reminded me of what was important and worth hanging around for. There’s no nicer warmth and smell in my world than a deep hug from my lovely LC.
This was the same man who, nearly nine years earlier, sat slumped on a plastic desk chair in exhaustion with his face pressed against the drawers next to my bed during the 29 hours it took for Sapphire to enter the world. The man who, for countless occasions, has patiently stroked my forehead and emptied sick buckets during migraine attacks and who has willingly taken Sapphire out to the park or zoo for the afternoon to give me time to recuperate afterwards. Not once have I ever heard him utter the phrase: "You owe me."
On cold nights when I’m hopping back into bed after a middle-of-the-night loo stop he rolls over to let me hog the warmth from his body until I’m taken care of. Then I gently push him back when I’m comfortable again. Love Chunks is also the kind of bloke who is not bothered in the slightest about buying tampons from the supermarket or letting our daughter Sapphire paint his face like a lion during a Crows’ game on television. He has read all of the Harry Potter books in their entirety to Sapphire; both of their heads close together in concentration as he reads out loud clearly and patiently answers all of Sapphire’s questions.
He’ll gently scold me for kissing the dog on the head, when later he’s found outside with her little furry body cradled in his arms.
When nagged (by me of course) to list what annoys him about me, his gripes are surprisingly few:
"1) A complete inability to pack things in a sensible and efficient manner (Anti-Tardis Syndrome) – we bought a new cupboard recently that was meant to solve our storage problems – have a little critical look in the spare room!
2) Navigation – need I say more?
3) The toilet – it’s obviously a genetic thing to be tolerant of a filthy toilet.
4) Ripping holes (that are bound to grow bigger by the day) in perfectly good towels
5) Inability to even consider changing a light bulb or fixing even the simplest of devices.
6) Allergy to weeding, gardening and lawn-mowing.
7) Would rather throw out the food that’s left over or eat more than you need to in order to start on the new food item or product.
8) Putting on a load of washing or using the taps whilst I’m in the shower.
9) Putting dirty objects (like Dogadoo's lead or your running shoes) onto the food preparation areas."
How on earth do I repay such a wonderful person? What should I buy him for Christmas? A couple of books and DVDs seems an insulting tribute for all that he’s done for me. If Lotto does the right thing by us, he'd ideally like a fishing boat, European holiday and a new car, but I’m wondering whether a hand-made card, some dark Lindt balls and a hug will do the trick.
I hope he shares the Lindt with me........