Ah, the fairytale.
“I want a man like that,” young me would declare after watching a Disney movie, unconcerned with plot points such as a prince who falls in love with a fairy-dusted pretty face and an uncomfortable pair of shoes.
“I want a man like that,” teenage me would croon while dreaming of being whisked on stage by Jordan from New Kids on the Block.
“Oh to have a man like that,” newly married me would sigh, while turning the pages of a novel, where the highest titled duke inevitably falls for the poor, yet strong-willed and completely gorgeous country girl before promptly escorting her into society on his well muscled arm.
“If only my man was like that man (ahem, vampire),” new mom me would whisper while being swept away by the love story that was Bella and Edward (ok, that feels a little embarrassing to admit!)
Books, movies, commercials, ads, all point us to the “perfect” man. A man whose entire goal in life is to adore his woman while simultaneously working out constantly and somehow earning a fortune. (and of course overseeing his vampire and/or werewolf family!)
How many times have I allowed that “perfect” man image to distort reality?
How many times I have welcomed discontentment by putting out the welcome mat for the “perfect” man facade?
The prince made Cinderella a queen (but did he even know her real name or favorite food?)
The rich duke catapulted his love interest into society’s most glittery balls. (But how did they spend a boring Tuesday night? Were society balls enough for her?)
And Edward (ah, Edward) how can any man compete with the kind-hearted, crazy rich, super-human self-sacrificing boy turned vampire man? (the idea of comparing Edward to any real man is well….absurd, completely absurd)
In my 19 years of marriage I have learned a few things:
- A real prince is a man who loves you even when your fairy godmother is nowhere to be found. A real prince holds your hair while you heave from morning sickness, ignores the spit-up stains covering your shirt, and tells you your beautiful when you feel anything but.
- Being whisked on stage is nothing compared to being held in the fortress of your man’s arms while your heart is broken from the pain of searing loss.
- Being escorted on the arm of a duke might be all well and good, but I would much rather link arms with a man who serves others in humility. A man who will pick up a hammer to repair a fence for a neighbor, take the dog out at 4am, or sit up all night with a sick child is far more attractive than any title could ever be.
- And vampires, werewolves, zombies, superheroes….they all belong right next to the other made-up characters like Pinocchio, Humpy Dumpty and Santa Claus. A real man—a human person who changes your tire in the rain, comes home from work to deal with an overflowing toilet and unloads the dishwasher before heading to a job he’s not loving at the moment, but goes to everyday in order to support his family and your dreams…that man far surpasses that of any fantasy!
So, on this my 19th wedding anniversary, I celebrate and thank God for this man:
My real life, perfect-for-me husband.
This man who loves his family more than his own comfort.
This man who supports my dreams, no matter how unobtainable they seem to me.
This man who loves his children for who they are, as they are, while encouraging them to become all they can be.
This man who takes my car to get new tires so that I don’t have to deal with it on our anniversary.
This man who holds me when I cry, laughs with me when I laugh and does all that he can to provide for our family.
This man who is my best friend, my confidant, my greatest supporter and the calm to my crazy.
This man whom I love more than I could ever express, flaws, faults and human-ness (just as he loves me flaws, faults and human-ness)
Happy Anniversary baby! I love you and thank God for giving you to me.