It took more than just a few changes of clothes in a carry-on. It took an unpacking of guilt that we would spend money just so I could have some time and you could have a companion.
It took three cocktail parties, two dinners--one fancy and one just down home, and more than one person's words for me to grasp just who you are when you put on a polo or a button down or the full suit and leave the house every morning.
Too often I've let you be the one who just didn't get how hectic my days are. You come in juggling grant requests and loan closings and American dreams that don't always respect a 5 pm EST ending, and I throw someone or something at you.
The dishes. The laundry. The unswept floor. The uncooked dinner. The baby boy. The strong-willed middle. The flunked spelling test. The rejection.
I want you to get everything about me. How every moment of my everyday is wrapped up in motherhood and words and tantrums and it's so very important because I'm here with these little people who share our eyes and tendencies and flaws.
I forget that what you do all day is important too. Not just because it pays the bills and makes the Friday night pizza happen and gives you joy. It's important because what you do is an extension of who you are.
And how many people really get to say that?
They whispered in my ear at this national trade conference for your industry. How you're so knowledgeable, so kind, so straightforward, and easy to understand. How you can answer all the questions the new CFO attendee came with and give a presentation that people actually learn from. How you're incredibly gifted at what you do with numbers and constraints and ideas.
And even though they told me surely I was more--I was happy to be just your wife.
I was proud to say I stay home and take care of our kids and our household so you can do what you do and ACE it everyday.
I was ashamed to realize I could do more to make it easier.
Not more dish scrubbing or towel folding or casserole making. But more leaning in rather than on. More listening. More recognizing that your job is not where you spend a few hours everyday so you're gone from me and these kids, but is in fact a place where you are respected, encouraged, and needed.
You've changed and grown and developed into a leader and an advocate for small businesses, and the people who answer your phone calls and emails told me how much they appreciate you.
I appreciate you.
I don't say it enough. Not nearly. You're our family's sole provider right now, and if you're ever scared, you don't show it. You hold me when I throw fits and tell me it will all work out. You do your best to leave stressful days at the office, and even when you've wanted to walk right back out after walking into pure chaos at 5:30 in the afternoon, you've sat down on the couch and watched mindless cartoons or read an umpteenth round of Llama Llama just so I can finish dinner in peace.
People tell me they don't know how I juggle it all. The kids. The writing, The theater. The ministries. The volunteering. The house listing.
But I know how it's possible. And it's time I told you the truth.
I wouldn't be anywhere close to where I am or who I'm becoming if it wasn't for you. You gave me the life I always wanted.
Now, I pray I can do the same for you.