It's my husband, Eric's birthday today.
I don't know if I've ever mentioned it, but he's one of those people who is a natural-born teacher. He's a Search Marketing Guy in his real life, but I can confidently say that teaching is his real gift. (NOTE: Search Marketing is geek-speak for the guy who gets you on the first page of Google. Eric taught me that. See what I mean?)
Technically, he's also taught me a lot about search marketing stuff, too, but that's not important right now.
1. He taught me how to fight.
I'm pretty much of the your-nose-is-too-big school of marital sparring. I never knew how to fight to get to the issue. Eric has taught me that the issue is never the issue. Okay, so it makes me a bit crazed when I want to argue about the correct way to squeeze a toothpaste tube, and he kindly points out that perhaps it's the unheaval I'm currently experiencing that is causing me to fixate on the damn toothpaste. I may or may not have conceded his point and maybe cried about the actual issue. Point: Eric.
2. He taught me that 'Acts of Service' is a legitimate love language.
It's not my primary love language, but it's the way he expresses his love to me at times. He cleans things and clears things and paints things and makes sure my car has gas, but what he's really saying is "I love you." Much like sweet Wesley in The Princess Bride saying "As you wish" to Buttercup. I know that I am loved because my husband knows how to demonstrate that love. Amen.
3. He taught me to risk.
I tend to be the one to stuff my emotion and want to "handle" whatever challenge is headed my way without asking for help. It feels too risky for me to invite someone into my discomfort and insecurity. It turns out he finds me much more attractive when I risk including him in my fearful emotions. I see him risking continually as he forges ahead through his days and in his career. He's a risk-taker. Many times he's afraid, but he just takes the fear with him. I appreciate that.
4. He taught me how to cry.
I would pretty much rather give birth to a porcupine on fire than cry in front of another human. Eric is very much an empath and is astute when it comes to catching the signals that I need a good cry to clear out my emotions. "Just let it go," he says. Not that simple for me, A World Class Stuffer. Still, I appreciate that he's not afraid of my tears. The reason he's so good at this is that he is very much in touch with his own emotions.
5. He taught me about partnership.
We are a great team. We are consistent co-parents. We are wonderful co-workers. We fill in each other's areas of weakness. It's nice to have someone on my team who's got my back. We share the load of running the household and we're mostly always on the same page. We're definitely "in this together."
6. He taught me how to celebrate.
Which is what we're doing today. On this day, Eric Darby is celebrating his birthday. We are celebrating the gift that he is to all of us. The kids and I will bring the presents and cake. Eric will be the one to say, "Let's get this party started!" (He's also taught me how to appreciate 80's music, but that's a story for another day…)
Thank you, Honey. You've taught us all so much. As we celebrate your birthday, we're grateful that you so easily function in your Teaching Gift. We remain your very satisfied and faithful students.