I have my husband on the brain a lot, lately, especially after having him home for the last four days and getting to observe him all over again. I have given it a lot of thought and I have deduced that:
Sometimes, Dean sucks. Sometimes, Dean is awesome. And, sometimes Dean sucks and is awesome at the same time.
I’m pretty impressed by his ability to suck and be awesome simultaneously. I just can’t do it, myself. I either suck really badly or I’m ridiculously awesome but never both at the same time. It’s an art form one has to perfect and Dean does it with ease.
An example of this sort of thing is, say, one of these episodes:
A child will come and ask me if I will buy them a present, a toy perhaps, something they simply do not need. Since I am a total ogre, I usually respond with something along these lines:
“Hell, no. It ain’t Christmas and it ain’t your birthday and, frankly, you suck and don’t deserve a spontaneous present. Your grades are crap and you’re acting like a pig around the house, farting at the dinner table, and making huge messes and you think you need a new toy? I don’t think so. Buh-Bye.”
Dean will then receive the sad eyes and will attempt to counter them by saying, “I support your mother on this 100%!”
Then, the next time he is at the store, he will buy the little fucker the toy.
This sucks for obvious reasons. I end up the horrid shrew and Daddy ends up the merciful king and the children hate me and adore the very ground he walks on and I want to kick his ass for this shit, but I don’t. However, Dean’s constant desire to make one of the kids smile is pretty endearing even if it does complicate my relationships to them. It’s not always toys, either, but there are times when there is just a ton of stuff to do around the house and Daddy will drop everything because a small child wants to go to the park. Right now. It all drives me crazy, but I secretly think it’s adorable. However, once the kids are away, I give him the business for it:
“What the fuck, Dean? How ya gonna let me sit there and be the bad guy all the time? They don’t need this garbage and you know it’s just going to end up broken on the floor somewhere adding to the messes they make.”
“I know, babe. But I promised him months ago and he just keeps asking and looks so sad.”
“Well, Fuck him looking sad! That is some bullshit! Tell him to go to hell!”
So, it pisses me off a great deal, but it also warms my heart because I do so enjoy seeing a man who loves children.
I feel bad for Dean. He BENDS OVER BACKWARDS for me and sometimes, screws it all up, but that’s okay because it is hard to do things perfectly when you’re bent over backwards.
One example of this is cooking. Dean will always cook dinner if he knows that I’m tired or if he wants to give me a special treat. In fact, he has been cooking dinner for the last two months and it has been a valuable exercise as he’s gotten incredibly good at it. But in the past, he was only good at one thing: scrambled eggs. His scrambled eggs are the shit. Everything else…. eh. He gets easily frustrated in the kitchen and burns himself constantly. He drops hot pots of boiling water on himself all the time and you hear him in there doing that thing where he strings a bunch of insane curse words together.
He also whacks his head on the cabinets a lot.
But in the end, he will sadly and apologetically serve me a plate of something almost identifiable and it could be a steaming plate of shit for all I care because the man has just cooked me dinner. And I just love him for it. I know how hard he worked and I know that he had envisioned bringing me some gourmet looking food and I know he is disappointed that it looks like poo, but to me, it’s the most beautiful meal I’ve ever seen.
He is the man who keeps pounds of ground beef in the freezer because he knows I will be demanding a burger in my sleep tonight. He is the man who will watch from afar as I sit and cuddle a boxer puppy, see how much I love the thing, and then make arrangements with whoever he has to to make sure he surprises me on my birthday with the $800 puppy. He is the man who woke up five times a night to bottle feed a ton of baby squirrels because he knew I’d be devastated if they died.
This is Dean… the man who tucks me into bed EVERY SINGLE NIGHT that he is home. He changes my sheets each night because he knows I can’t stand anything else, and he lines up my blankets and pillows in exactly the way I like them to be. He brings me my medicine and a glass of milk and puts them on the nightstand before going to the kitchen to set the coffee maker up to brew me the perfect pot by morning. Then, he returns to the bedroom and talks to me, snuggles me, gives me love and attention before rubbing my back until I fall asleep.
He is the man who, when I declare that I want outrageous things like a pet hawk or a penguin, will study and research the laws on this, the regulations for owning such animals and then if found that we simply cannot, he will adopt one in my name to make me smile.
This man tolerates me. He accepts the baggage from my painful past, holds me when I cry for reasons he admits he doesn’t understand. He sits patiently when I lash out or get frustrated and he accepts the difficult task of being married to me when even my own father could not handle having me around.
He is the man who gave up the solidarity rallies and hemp necklaces, the moonlight operas on the beach at midnight… all to join the military to give a better life for his wife and children. He is the man who has packed his bags more times than I can count to surrender his warm bed and hot food in exchange for a foxhole and an MRE.
I’ve seen him come home skinny as a rail from not eating, eyes red from not sleeping, dirty and exhausted and hungry after months of bodily neglect… home where he drops the rucksack and kevlar and swings a little girl in the air and doles out treasures from his adventures to two small boys. I hear stories of his actions while away from other soldiers, stories of how he would sit with a guitar and sing songs and make them all happy, stories of how he worked harder than anyone else out there to make sure everyone was safe.
So what if he never answers his cell phone when I try to call him? So what if he takes three hours to complete a task that should take ten minutes? Who cares if he goes to the grocery for five items and comes back with two? What does it matter that he gave the kids a bubble bath in Dawn dish detergent or washed Olivia’s hair without removing her pigtails?
People always ask me how I can stay after all the tough times, his addiction to methamphetamines, his spontaneous dabbles with shoplifting when my children’s Christmas depended on it, his attempted suicide when he felt he had failed us all… and this is why. It’s not to me the stupid mistakes, the spontaneous panicked actions… it’s the man inside who loves deeply and no matter how mad or frustrated I may ever get, there is far more to love and cherish.
I fell in love with a man who sat in the corner singing his heart out and the song is far from over.