Dorothy will spend three hours writing a 250-word blog post for work; this bothers me ("Come on, I could do it in 10"), until I watch Sophia trace her name over and over and over again until she gets it just right. Dorothy expects to have her feet rubbed while we're watching television (she literally dumps them in my lap without so much as a "please"); this bothers me, until Sophia chucks a Sandra Boynton board book at me and says, "You read it to me daddy. Five times!" Dorothy never admits when she's made a mistake—ever; this bothers me, until I ask Sophia who spilled the Cranberry Splash Sierra Mist on the carpet and she accuses Big Bones, her life-sized stuffed golden retriever. And Dorothy exercises religiously, two hours a day; this bothers me (because I'm lazy), until I see Sophia actually running on the treadmill. In these moments, I realize I love my wife because she's a perfectionist, because she knows what she wants, because of her stubbornness and because she takes care of herself. Why Having Children May Wreck A Marriage
My advice, then, to the married-with-children crowd: embrace your relationship with the younger "man" or "woman" in your life. Because our kids can help us refocus the distorted image we develop of our spouses over time. Such vision can serve a husband well if his wife takes forever to get ready, especially if he remembers that his daughter takes great pride in picking out her own clothes and tying her own shoes. It can also serve a wife well if she has a husband who wants to dip into their savings to start a second career as a restaurant owner, especially if she remembers how much her son loves trying new activities. And really, it can serve any man or woman well, especially if his or her spouse consistently drives the family minivan through the garage door. Because, really, what child doesn't love racing Matchbox cars into walls?