There are many different ways that people would choose to describe “love”, many different emotions and actions used as evidence of it’s presence. I believe one of the most compelling signs is an ability to overlook those things that absolutely drive you insane.
I’m sure that many of you are nodding your heads right now, things immediately coming to mind that your spouse or loved one does. Things that you sometimes swear are being done purposefully because they know you hate it. Actions that couldn’t possibly serve any purpose but annoyance.
I’m finding that the same holds true with our children. The actions may change, the throwing of a dirty diaper turning to a wet towel on the bathroom floor, nose picking evolving into fingernail biting. Our annoyance levels may change, an eye roll and shake of the head one day, dirty looks and muttered profanities the next, but it’s always there, always something. The truth is that it’s near impossible to live with somebody for any length of time without discovering some idiosyncrasy or annoying habit.
I would never be so bold (foolish) as to publicly discuss any of my wife’s annoying traits, should she one day develop some, and I give the teenager enough reason to be mad at me already, but Alaina’s reading comprehension still hasn’t progressed much beyond DOG and CAT, so I’m going to stick with her for now.
Every morning when she puts on her shoes it’s an exercise in anger management, a test of patience that I don’t always manage to pass.
It’s not the actual insertion of her feet into the shoes, this she does quickly and effectively. It’s the act of velcroing. This needs to be done about a dozen times, with test steps sometimes in between, until she is completely satisfied that both sides have achieved the exact same level of tightness. If there is even a fractional discrepancy they must be redone. Any effort to usher her out the door before they are symmetrically snug ends in tears.
What I’d never noticed before, what has never been pointed out to me by anyone, is that while impatiently waiting for her to be ready to leave this morning I tied my shoes three times. I tied them four more times while I was at the gym. Seven times in a two hour period I bent down and tightened my laces.
Alaina is old enough now that if she had noticed I do this it would have been mentioned at least one of the times I stood in the doorway yelling “they’re fine, let’s go!” Is it something subconscious, a subliminal suggestion placed there by her father’s weird actions? Or does this go deeper, passed along genetically with my organizational quirks and devilish good looks?
Whatever the answer, I’ll try my best to be more patient tomorrow. It’s important to remember that whether by nature or by nurture, we created these little monsters and have only ourselves to blame for how they come out.
As far as your spouses go, I don’t have any advice . You picked them.