Tuesday, February 20, 2007

A Soldier in Search of Sacred Time

This blog entry is dedicated to the smartest, bravest, funniest, and most beautiful person I know – my wife, Ema. Those of you who know us well enough might surmise that, at this very moment, I’ve got the business end of a shotgun firmly planted against my brain stem. That scenario couldn’t be further from reality. Ema is much too fine a person to be involved with something as messy as a shotgun.

Truth is, she is an experienced soldier, well-trained in the weapons of life which allow her to fight on the front lines every day. Today she was at work and coming down with a cold passed lovingly to her by one of our three children. Sam, our three-year-old was at work with her, oscillating between throwing a fit and resting up for the next one. Ema finished at her job (one of two that she holds), then headed out to run errands, picking up Nick, or oldest, on the way to any one of a variety of exotic destinations such as the dry cleaners, the supermarket, or the DMV. All of this she does without complaint. All of this she does every day.

After errands, she returned home and did the laundry, cleaned up the kids’ rooms, made dinner, bathed the children, and then welcomed me home to a spotless, wonderful-smelling house filled with happy, clean children, and a spouse who had somehow made it through another day without consuming a fishbowl full of Mai Tais.

I help out when I get home, but realistically, by that time, the battle is over. I’m just damage control - collecting the debris, setting up an exclusion zone around the kitchen, helping the soldiers – especially the smallest ones, into their cots so they can rest up for the next day’s offensive.

It’s at this time, in the quiet of the evening when Ema, mentally exhausted and emotionally battle-scarred, can finally sit in bed, sip her tea, and enjoy an hour of peace that she has so heroically earned.

They don’t give medals for being a good mom or wife. There’s no promotion through the ranks, no ticker-tape parades. Ema’s gratitude has to come from those who recognize just how hard she works everyday. Perhaps I should tell her again how much I truly appreciate everything she does. Right now though there’s just the hint of a grin on her face as she’s reading her book. I think tonight I’ll let her read in peace, and quietly post this entry for her to discover tomorrow.