A few years ago I penned an excerpt to remind myself, perhaps better phrased to reflect to myself, what I desired in a partner during a life altering breakup. I found it today cleaning out an old box, and I thought about how far I’ve come. How somber the world felt the night I penned this hopeful wish list. How grateful I am that I closed that chapter of my story, but mostly how grateful I am for the journey. Life is never certain, but it is always good.
What do I want?
Happiness isn’t found in picket fences or diamond rings or six figure salaries or trips around the world. Love doesn’t grow in checking accounts or IRA’s or neatly tidied and organized homes. Life is not meant to be just be survived from day to day, what is life without joy? What is love without comfort? What is home without peace?
I wish for humble joy:
I want a man who’ll let me and our babies run barefoot through mud puddles in the spring, and even if he doesn’t feel the need to join in will greet us at the door with a water hose and a warm towel.
I want a man who will own the grill on the 4th of July, with an ice chest of glass bottles beside him, who won’t be too proud to canon ball into the pool and will brag that my homemade ice cream is better than heaven.
I want a man who will tolerate watching “Its a Wonderful Life” every single Christmas Eve while we wrap gifts from Santa, and who, the next morning, will then lay in the floor and excitedly put together legos and Barbie dolls and not be in a hurry to clean up Christmas.
I want a man who makes a big deal out of birthday candles and who never buys a gift that doesn’t bark or sparkle.
I want a man who longs to see the world and suck the marrow out of every experience life has to offer, and yet who will find contentment in a nap on a rainy Sunday afternoon.
I want a man who will hold my hand in the comfortable silence of a long car ride, a man who will kiss me on the forehead in the still of the night, a man who is generous with simple expressions of affection.
I want safe certainty:
I want a man who will take out the trash when it’s full and unload the dishwasher or change the laundry—because he lives there too and sees the need, not because I told him it needed to be done.
I want a man who will sit by my hospital bed and hold my hand instead of checking his email, who’ll worry and pray over me, who’ll hold my hand or my hair and not make me feel weak in my moments of weakness.
I want a man who will raise babies who know they can crawl in our bed at 2am when they’ve had a bad dream and want to feel safe again, and who will foster an environment that as they grow they can confidently reach out for support and find a patient, loving father waiting.
I want a man who will have the courage to tell me I’m wrong, who will defy my evil eye and brave my retort, because he is centered enough in who he is and he respects me enough to correct me when I need it—but perhaps will do so in a way designed to make me better, not make me feel small.
I want a man who is sure and solid and steady, who I can count on when the chips are down and the stakes are high. A man who will share the load with a willing spirit, who can face uncertainty with strength and candor, a man I can go to war beside.
I want a man who is consistently present and resolutely safe. Who will never leave me to question my own worth or force me to weigh his loyalty. Someone who will allow me to evolve and love me through all my seasons and choose each day to stay.
But mostly, I suppose, I pray for a man whose strength is rooted in faith, whose faith is in possession of generosity and kindness, but whose soul is still alive with laughter and mischief—
A man to go to war beside, to take a nap beside, to grow old beside.
I can’t wait to love a man like that.