I knew that I loved Bill and wanted to make a life with him. I knew that the journey would be entirely and irrevocably set on a specific course from that day forward. I knew that by choosing him, I was "unchoosing" every other possible person and path. I was taking this path, with this man.
So it has surprised me, that three years later, a more sentimental, romantic side of my personality has emerged.
Now, when I look at Bill, I cannot imagine my life without him. Because "my life" has become "our life" and if he isn't in it, then the magnitude of that goes beyond my own reasonably good imagination.
And it is a a dozen--a hundred--a thousand little things that I love about him and our lives together that I never could have detailed before we got married. Sure, I love the big things, too, but everyone who knows him well can see those things.
This is my list of seemingly small things that I love about Bill Brown.
Seemingly small, taking up much room in my heart.
I could write many, many things, but 10 seems to be the listy norm:
- I mislaid my car keys. Again. The search escalated from frustrating to frantic. I called Bill. Any ideas? I'm already late. He had a spare buried in his sock drawer. I love Bill for having contingency plans. Vicariously, I feel smarter and better prepared--because he is.
- Bill brought me a small stuffed rat that, when pushed, does a funny rendition of, "I like you. I la-la-la-la-like you. (Random person from YouTube recorded it) It seemed a strange gift to me. As it turns out, he bought it on "Market Day" from a student. I love that, when presented with options to "purchase" something from the kids, he is always thinking of me. These gifts that seem a mismatch to his age and income level are endearing because they remind me that Bill was once a young boy, perhaps shyly offering the best Market Day find to a girl. We're not kids anymore, but I love that I'm his girl.
- Bill kills all the spiders in the house. Soundly. Thoroughly. Unflinchingly. He has no strange hang-ups (like I do) with them. This practical matter takes on heroic proportions in my mind. To have someone vanquish my irrational fears on my behalf...this I love.
- One Christmas long ago, I received a poinsettia. It didn't live through January. Bill and I were given a poinsettia, too. Come Easter, I could only marvel that it shared display space with the Easter Lily. Bill keeps plants alive. Plants breathe air into our home. Bill's skills are like a breath of fresh air to me, one I didn't know I was waiting to take.
- One day, I picked up a pair of Bill's shoes to put away. It was a startling discovery to realize that it was the first (and perhaps only) time I had ever done so. The man simply does not have the habit of leaving his shoes about. Is this normal?! My own experience of shoes around the house is a long and storied saga; Bill would have no such dramatic tales to tell. I don't know how his shoes find their way to the closet all the time; they are like mysterious creatures that can return to their birthplace year after year by instinct. Some women love their man's mysterious ways. So do I. I love the way he mysteriously manages to minimize hassle in my life.
- Bill loves to read. Deep, thoughtful books that are often just "too much" for me to rally interest in. Long words with longer sentences. Complex, it seems, for complexity's sake. And he loves being a reader of such books. What I find endearing is the numerous nights I discover him fast asleep with some such intellectual book propped up on his chest. Oh, my sweet, hopeful, studious husband. Even the best of us can't always stay awake for our best intentions.
- Bill is a good cook. An improvisational cook who can make meals without recipes, using only the ingredients we have in the house (and not fancy, overpriced, one-recipe kinds of obscurities). His repertoire of food is not huge, but it works. And nothing tastes better than food prepared for you. Who knew that I would love a fried egg sandwich from his hands more than grilled chicken from mine?
- He is the cook who will make me chocolate chip pancakes (which I adore), and then be sure to save the very last pancake for me. Because everyone knows that is where all the chips will be. And he knows that I adore a little pancake with my chips. And he likes making me happy. Indulging me with these little treats. The chip-iest one....always for me.
- Okay, this next one is huge. You'll see why in a second. I almost don't want to share it because it will reveal an area in which I'm spoiled, and so while it makes Bill so lovable, my insecure side wonders if it will make me look like a diva. But this is truth, so I must say: I love how in the two years of Landon's life I have never, not once, had to be the one to deal with the diaper genie. Not replacing the garbage liner inside, not removing the full and disgusting bag for trash day. Not one time. Who could dream that this act of service would make me love him so? But it does. I'm wildly grateful, and whenever I see a blue sausage bag of all things stinky lined up, ready to go out, I cannot help but love him. In that very moment, I love him more. Again. Anew.
- I know that Bill really knows me. And I hate that. And I love that. I love him for extending grace to the worst parts of me; I love him for acknowledging the best. We do our best, and sometimes, in fact, our best just isn't good enough. I love that he can accept this truth, and still say, "You're my Jode," at the end of a terrible day. (Admittedly, these last two were not "little reasons," but I wanted them on the list anyway!)
My life with Bill does not follow a movie script. He does not complete me. He did not have me at hello. But he gives me countless completely good reasons to love him. And he'll have me, God willing, all the way up to "Good-bye for now, Love."