Saturday, June 20, 2009

Memory Lane: Lament of the Non-Superhero Crime Fighters

This was originally posted on November 11, 2008 when I had, I think, three readers who weren't related to me. My apologies to both of you who read it back then, but it is a Father's Day tribute, of a sort. Enjoy!

CPod has Tuesday mornings off, sometimes. Let me rephrase. CPod almost always has no patients scheduled on Tuesday mornings. He does not, however, almost always have nothing else to do on Tuesday mornings. Week before last, he filled in for his sick father (who's profession is the same as CPod's). Last week, he chopped wood for my dad. This week, he chopped wood for a man in our ward who injured his neck trying to get it done himself. (I suspect he likes what chopping wood does for his biceps.)

Now, I'm not complaining. Really, I'm not. I love my husband dearly. He is remarkably selfless, as evidenced by his recent Tuesday activities. He is a giant among husbands (and not just because he's 6'5") and goes out of his way to make my job easier. His love and respect for me are apparent in his every action, and he is the only daddy I know who even approaches the greatness of my own father. He is really fantastic. I love having him home. I also (to a certain degree) love not having him home. And here is why.

He is Superman. Or Batman. Maybe it's more like Mr. Incredible.

And if he is Mr. Incredible, then I am the inept cops who can't seem to get anything done until he swoops in at the last minute to save the day.

Have you ever thought about what it must be like to be an ordinary cop in Metropolis? Just as you think (operative word: think) you're about to get things under control, this tall, good looking guy in a cape shows up, finishes your job and then takes all the credit: newspaper stories, adoring children, swooning women, and, to add insult to injury, abs of steel, because he just decided to cut soda from his diet and lost 27 pounds as a result. (I exaggerate. It's really more like 10 pounds.)

Today, while he was splitting wood, I stayed home with the the Munchkins. I fed them breakfast, and then spent a full hour (no exaggeration) crawling around our house on my hands and knees searching for Lil' Maa-Maa's missing monster truck. When I couldn't find it in the house, I went outside in my jammies, braless, with booger-woman frizzy hair for all the neighbors to see, and searched for it in our yard, all to no avail.

When I tried to get everyone dressed, all civilized behavior deteriorated into fits and tantrums on the floor for three entirely different reasons. And at the precise top of the bell curve of noise, CPod walked in the door, produced granola bars for all the little ones, and then sat down to watch cartoons with them. They piled on top of him happily and called me mean, and said that daddy was the best, and continued to sing his praises ad nauseum, until I finally went back to take a shower and let their demi-god father finish the dressing ritual. I used all the hot water.

Part of me sees him as my savior, too -- I mean, I like to think I would have gotten things under control if he hadn't shown up when he did, but the reality is, it probably would have gotten worse before it got better. And I am truly grateful that my children at least respond to one of us in a satisfactory manner. But I sure wish that, occasionally, it could be me!

Sigh. Maybe one day my children will also look at me agog, eyes wide at the wonder of my mere presence in their lives. (Please don't tell me any different -- it's kind of that thought that keeps me going!) Maybe not. Or maybe I just need to have a little girl who will appreciate really fantastic black suede wedges and hair products that work, and find value in things other than monster trucks. It's not hero worship, but, hey, I'll take what I can get.

And maybe, just maybe, I'll have to be satisfied with G-Dog who said this morning as I helped him get his shoes on, "Thank you for making me feel better, Mommy." I don't even remember what I did, but I know he gave me a big, unsolicited hug.

And Lil' Maa-Maa, who goes with me to the fabric store when the twins are in preschool, and lovingly runs his hands over beautiful prints and says, "Pretty, mommy." And stands behind me as I piece a quilt on the sewing machine, playing with my hair while he watches the creation of something extraordinary.

And ConMan, who, every time someone new comes to our house, takes them to my bridal portrait hanging in the dining room and says, "My mommy is a princess."

And CPod, who never fails to express his love and appreciation for my efforts on behalf of our family; who is the one who told ConMan I am a princess; who reads books I recommend just so we have something intellectual to talk about; who spends so much time thinking of other people and allowing me the time to have a brain outside of motherhood that he rarely has opportunity for his own pursuits.

I think it just might be enough.


  1. We PopPop Indicators are a wonderful breed. Sometimes we bask in the glow of the love the kids have for PopPop and enjoy what trickles off to us. We are the baby tenders, the mess cleaners, the truck hunters, the need providers. Remember, that every super hero has a mom or a wife that makes everything possible.
    I know my kids love me...but Dad is the one who gets the mushy cards! MOM

  2. Wow! I could have written this! (Clarification, no I couldn't have, my writing abilities pale in comparison), but this is my life!!! My husband is my children's hero, and they love me, but I'm not like Dad! My oldest daughter came crying to me one day when she was 15 and said in despair, "Mom, I'll never find someone just like Dad to marry!" He's exactly what she dreams of when she imagines her prince charming (okay, exactly minus twenty-five-ish years). If he didn't treat me like a queen, I'd have to be jealous of him, but you can't be mad at a guy whose that amazing!

  3. I totally get this. It doesn't help that my husband kinda has a superhero job, with the same 'aw, shucks' attitude of Clark Kent.

    And to boot, by virtue of our having been on hand all day to dish out discipline and time-outs while dad was off leaping tall buildings in a single bound, mom is always the "Penguin" to his "Batman".

    But as my kids got older, and their emotional needs more complex, I found myself grateful for anyone - especially my husband - who my kids felt they could count on to save the day.

    I don't even need the kudos and the mushy cards; just get to the end of the day still on track for a happy and productive adulthood. That's all I ask of my kids!!

  4. So, so glad you reposted this.

    I think I need to read your archives ...

  5. I loved reading this. It touched me someplace deep. Because I am the inept cop married to Mr. Incredible too.

    My favorite line: I used all the hot water.

    Haha. I totally would have done that too!

    And I do hope you get a girl someday. But in the meantime, it sounds like your husband and your boys are wonderful! (The bridal portrait/mommy princess thing is too precious for words.)

    I'd gladly come over and ooh and ahh over your sexy shoes and your fabulous hair products. (I spend way too much $ trying not to look like I have booger-woman frizzy hair.... :)

  6. Is it just me, or is it a tiny bit creepy (I mean cool) that we both posted an entry from practically the same day in November 2008 as our father's day tribute? (twilight zone music)

  7. great, fun post.

    PS: I love black wedges & hair products & happen to worship my mom, so there's some hope for you yet!


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