Sometimes, there’s a temptation for me to be “superwoman” for my family; to try and be the savior or something to that effect. I suppose it’s the perfectionist in me. I like things to be a certain way, and when they’re not going my way, I get frazzled. Times likes these – such as the anecdote I’m about to share – I always get pulled up to higher ground, by none other than my husband. He keeps me grounded, reminding me that things don’t always have to be perfect, as long as life is good.
It’s amazing how many things can latch on to a train of thought. Especially when those things are old Nikes.
A few days ago, as I was getting ready to leave for a meeting with a client, I slipped out of the room quietly so as not to wake my husband. He looked so tired out, and the room was still cool from the airconditioning, so I thought it best to leave him in slumber.
While putting on my step-ins (I’ve given up on high heels since becoming a mom. OK, I can deal with 3-inch pumps, but that’s it!), I noticed hubby’s worn out Nike’s beside mine. I remember that he slipped on them a few days before because the soles had worn out, and he hadn’t had the chance to buy a new pair yet.
Looking at the faded trainers, I wondered what I could do, but knew I couldn’t do much. I couldn’t afford to buy a brand new pair, not anytime soon. Expenses for the groceries, the house, the car payment, and our son’s needs were our priority these days.
I felt rather bad as I mused about the shoes.
When was the last time he treated himself?, I thought. Seeing my line up of newly-bought clothes in the closet – which I’d purchased because I needed some decent things for client meetings – made the feeling even worse. I was starting to feel guilty, wondering if he was deferring the purchase of new shoes because he had much to sacrifice for the sake of me and our son.
And the feeling got worse as I ambled on through the day’s work.
That night, I burst into tears – a rarity for practical, ‘ol me.
“What’s wrong, babe? Tell me,” he said.
Silence. I felt too ashamed to say anything.
It wasn’t until he had hugged me, kissed me and cuddled me, and comforted me with several “It’s OKs” that I finally let the weight of the days thoughts fall. I told him how I felt, how lousy I was feeling about his worn-out shoes, how maybe I was on the receiving end too much.
He smiled: that semi-sad, semi-hopeful look I have studied well these last three-going-four years of marriage. He hugged me again, and assured me that I needn’t worry. New shoes were the least of his concerns these days, he said. All he wanted was to make sure I and our son had everything we needed. And with that, he wiped away the rest of my tears.
I have a wonderful husband. I am assured of this, that even if the time comes when we’ll both need replacement shoes, he will make a way – even if it means me getting a pair first, not him. It’s just an act of love that assures me of this: that in my husband’s love, I never need find a reason to worry.