Friday, July 04, 2008

An Independent Tribute to Tom

I just wanted to offer a little tribute to my husband Tom, who's birthday was today, the Fourth of July, Independence Day.

The funniest or maybe it's just an ironic thing is that growing up my Mom always told us that she didn't want to "fight" over having her family home "for the holidays" (ie: Thanksgiving and Christmas). Our "Special" holiday was going to be The Fourth of July! And it was! We always did fun simple things for The Fourth. When we grew up, she wanted all her kids (and grandkids) to come home in July.

Perhaps, as a result of all the focus on The Fourth of July, I became quite the patriotic person. When describing myself (in a few words) I often use: Angels, Arizona, and Americana as a simplified description of the things I love.

Perhaps, in part because of my Patriotism, Tom was attracted to me.

Maybe I was attracted to him, in part, because I thought having a birthday on The Fourth of July was a "cool" thing.

Whatever it is. My Mom's plans have been dashed apart! Now, each year, Tom is in charge of Fourth of July plans, not my Mom. I know, I know. In an ideal world, we could celebrate Tom's birthday with my family and even his family. This isn't an ideal world and it just don't work like that!

Now, I'm a bit off track. I intended to write a bit about my Tom, not our family holidays.

I just want to say that my life with Tom is AMAZING. Somehow, I managed to stumble onto a person who suits me so very well. I regularly marvel at this fact. And I remind myself of it. Especially at times when "I feel like I'm talking to a brick wall."

Living with all men and boys takes getting use to. Mostly in regards to the fact that I just don't have someone else to talk with all the time. They have other things on their minds that don't involve long conversations with Mom/wife. I get it. Men use like 7,000 words a day and women 20,000 (or so "They" say). So. If I talk with each one of them, I barely get in all my words, and they are overloaded, because, they talk with other people too, so, I push them over the limit of what their brains are comfortable with.

Okay. This is, once again, going off on a tangent and perhaps sounds just a bit sexist, but what I'm trying to say is something nice... I often feel like Tom isn't listening to me, but when it comes right down to it, he seems to KNOW what I need and usually it's when I need it most that he appears with it. So. That's cool. I'm grateful. I'm thankful. Really, I am. I'm not being flippant. Just in awe of how one person can be so in tune with another (even if it doesn't always feel like it).

I'm so very tickled that Tom and I get along so well. It's a good thing, after all to get along with one's spouse and the parent to one's children! We do fight, but, usually it's about REALLY trivial stuff and then a little bit later in the day we'll call each other laughing saying "did we really just have a fight about that!?" In any case, I count the fact that we fight as another GREAT thing! This is because I can't remember fighting with anyone... well, besides my brother. Like I just don't fight with people. Instead, I tend to keep things bottled up. I let them fester inside of me. I beat myself up. I build resentments. Not with Tom. With him, I might let something stay inside of me for a few weeks, but mostly, it all comes out, and pretty quickly too. He does the same. I think this is good for us because it keeps us from doing what I seem to do well with others. Worry, seethe, fester, become bitter and upset. With Tom, it's out and done with before it ever has a chance to infect my Soul. I am so glad that he lets me share things with him so openly.

We've always been very open. It's intriguing to me how similar and how different two people can be, and at the same time. We compliment each other very well. I know there are areas we are still growing, but I'm happy we tend to do it together. I like walking down the path of life hand-in-hand with Tom.

Hand-in-hand. It's not all "Lovey-Dovey". Sometimes I think back to when I first got married and people told me "you're such a cute couple." It was with my first husband that I heard that. Tom and I have never been told we're a "Cute Couple". Sometimes, I wish they would, but it doesn't really matter. Is it because we're not young and starry eyed? Does it really matter if others think you're "cute" together? As long as you get along well, I'm sure it doesn't.

I mentioned that I would fight with my brother. Which is interesting, because I met Tom through my brother. They'd been friends for over eight years when Tom and I were introduced. Turns out, we'd been introduced once in the middle of those eight years, but when we met again, it took us about six weeks of "seeing each other" before we realized we'd met before. Funny how life changes you and someone you've met may not be right for you and then you grow and evolve and meet again and can't be separated!

Separated... we can and actually do separate. Which has proven to be a good thing this past year, during our move. It was good that we could function so well on our own (probably because we both had for so much of our adult lives). We both have interests / hobbies of our own that we cultivate. Things that relax us and bring us joy and are "ours". We also both express interest in the other's activities, but basically "stay out of them". I think this contributes to the health of our marriage. So, while we prefer to be together, we're also okay with separating for a few hours, days, or even weeks. While we miss one another, we can function alone too. They say you have to be happy with yourself before you can be happy with someone else, so, I guess that continues to be true even after your married.

So. When my brother introduced us, I remember telling my Mom "I met someone who's even more of a Star Wars fanatic than Ivan!" At the time, I could hardly believe this was possible. Star Wars was always such a part of my brother's identity, it was intriguing to me that someone else could be so involved with it. So, this has been something that Tom and I continue to explore and encourage... a love of Star Wars and an involvement with others who are passionate about it.

Yes. My husband is a Geek. So is my brother. So am I. We are a family of Geeks. But. My husband is also Cool and Social and Generous and Kind (and Foul-Mouthed) and Playful and Smart and Witty.

So. At the close of his birthday, my seventh (and quietest) with him, I just wanted to send out a great big "I LOVE YOU!" to my hubby. Thank you for sweeping me up into your wild, wonderful world and, oh yes, thank you too for our AMAZING Sons! We are all so very lucky to be a part of your life and have you in ours!

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