Babies, Say Thanks to Your Mamas

My husband is exceptional at giving sincere compliments and saying thank you to me. Sometimes the compliments are just a passing, “You look nice,” and sometimes they are more heady, like once when he told me I had festival eyes, or when we get in the car for a “date” and he says breathlessly, “Wow, you are beautiful.” I do have to admit that I have rolled my festival eyes at times when he’s said I was cute and I know I was ugly, but secretly I like knowing for sure there’s one person who can see past the wash-n-go hair, the jeans with the top button undone(this low-rise fashion trend is killing me and after 4p.m. I just can't take it anymore) and the oversized baby-stained T-shirt.

The thank yous especially keep our marriage sweet. I have thought on occasion that he was actually mocking my beggarly housekeeping, but that’s me being cynical and defensive. He really does appreciate the marathon days when I run eighteen loads of laundry through – nevermind that I’ve waited so long to do laundry that there were eighteen loads, or that all the clean laundry is piled in the middle of our bed and he has to fold it before we go to sleep. He never fails to compliment my cooking (which generally deserves it) and says, “Thanks for making this delicious soup,” or, “Pork chops are my favorite, and these are soooo good tonight.”

I’d almost started taking David's adoration and appreciation for granted, until Calvin started talking. One of the first things he replicated from our conversations (aside from the expletive I used one day when a whole gallon of milk sprang from our refrigerator and spilled all over the floor) was David’s kind and appreciative words. At first, he would say things word for word the way his dad does, which was adorable, but then he started saying things on his own: “Mom, thank you for making this yummy dinner!” and lately, when it gets quiet, he sneaks me a hug and says, “Mom, you’re the best ever.” Occasionally he forgets the compliment behind the observation: “Mom! You’re wearing lipstick!” But hey, he notices. A good quality in a man. Sometimes Calvin’s thank yous do go a little awry, like Saturday when D kept the boys away from the bedroom door for the afternoon so I could nap, I came downstairs afterward and Calvin said most sincerely, “Oh, mom, thank you for waking up today!” Still, there is something infinitely precious about hearing thanks and feeling appreciated. And it’s priceless to hear it from my three-year-old and know he learned it from his dad. (I take it as a compliment on my choice of husband.)


Angela said...

Your husband is a gem, and I'm gonna make my husband read this so he can learn to compliment even in the middle of 18 loads of laundry!

Ima Poemer said...

Holy cow. Your husband totally puts me to shame. What a great lesson to be learned. I vow to do better. Thanks!