There is a man I know who gets up and goes to work. He will not win a Nobel Prize, he does not earn in the highest tax bracket and he will never have the skills to play sports professionally. But he is the man I love the most in the world … my husband.
As women we push against the feelings that we are not enough: not pretty enough, nice enough, good enough, thin enough, popular enough. My close friends and I try to remind each other over and over that there is no magic “enough.” No finish line to cross to be the winner. Oh yeah, and there is no winner. We affirm and talk. We rebut anyone who stands in our girlfriends’ way. We cheer each other on and stand up for each other in the herd.
I’m not sure we women always do the same with our husbands. Maybe we want them to be more; we’ve bought into the stereotypes on the other end of the spectrum. And I wonder how many of our loyal, hard working, faithful husbands also feel they are not enough. Not tall enough, rich enough, adventurous enough, strong enough, brave enough. Just as we speak words of truth and encouragement to our friends and our children, should we not do the same for the men who promised to stand by us until death’s doorstep?
But what does that look like? It begins with celebrating character. We live in a culture that honors and recognizes accomplishments, and as a default does not celebrate the dedicated, the persistant, the good enough. A man who has been passed over for the promotion – or has a vanishing hairline, a hard time making the bills – needs a cheerleader. And the woman standing next to him is the best candidate because she too promised to stand by his side until death’s doorstep.
So here’s to the men who punch a clock, or a keyboard, or a round of pizza dough to bring home the other kind of dough for their families. To the men who offer bear hugs and butterfly kisses and piggyback rides and manage the zoo that are their broods. To the men who keep going, keep praying, keep pushing forward despite what life throws their way. I celebrate the good men for who they ARE. Because it’s out of that center of integrity and determination that the true goodness overflows, that the real accomplishments happen.
I’m offering up a thank you, a kiss, an acknowledgment that he is trying because he is, in fact, good enough for me.
As a mom to four girls, ages 3 to 12, Alexandra Kuykendall’s days are spent washing dishes, driving to and from different schools and trying to find a better solution to the laundry dilemma. She writes to capture the places where motherhood meets everyday life to remember the small, yet significant moments in the midst of the blur. She is the author of The Artist’s Daughter, A Memoir , a contributor to this year’s Be you, Bravely, An Experiment in Courage and acts as the Specialty Content Editor for MOPS International. A city girl at heart, she makes her home in the shadow of downtown Denver. You can read more of Alex’s everyday thoughts and connect with her at AlexandraKuykendall.com.