"A capable wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels" (Proverbs 31:10)
I am such a pathetic cliche.
My wife went a conference for adoptive moms this past weekend leaving me in charge of our two adopted children. OK, for my wife's conference, the word "adoptive" is appropriate. There are unique issues in parenting related to adoption that are different from issues faced by biological parents. Some of those issues relate to parenting kids that were institutionalized in orphanages for significant time before adoption. Some of those issues are related to adopting across racial lines. I am very, very glad she got to be with people experiencing some the things we've been through.
For me, "adoption" is a meaningless terms concerning this past weekend. It was Dad and the boys (8 & 4). A friend of mine, also a Dad of two boys, said to me, "Whenever our wives are away, we make a huge deal out of parenting by ourselves!" And he is right. I must have said, "Flying solo" this weekend to anyone who would offer me sympathy. So weak.
Not only was my way of describing myself kind of silly, but almost all discipline in our home went south in the car with my wife. It was cookies. It was ice cream. It was movies. It was eating dinner on the sofa while watching movies. We NEVER allow the TV to be one while eating, NEVER. Mommy leaves, and there's Igor, Henry, and Daddy watching animated Star Wars films for the second and third time.
And what did I do when my wife got home. "Hi honey, here are the kids. I'm going to a Super Bowl party."
Several times over the weekend, I really thought, "I have to start appreciating my wife as much when she's here as I do when she's gone." Whenever my wife leaves town for a couple of days, I am so, so thankful for her. She keeps all of us on track. She's a responsible, loving woman who shows her love by helping all of us in our family be so much better than we would be without her.
I think I kind of let the kids go crazy because I kind of wanted to go crazy. Now, as any story teller would do, I have embellished our weekend just a bit. I did get the kids to church (which is good since I am the pastor). We did get up off the couch and ride bikes and exercise. Even though read-a-thon is over, my older son did read a little bit over the weekend. Vegetables were consumed. My son who needs nutritional supplements received them, on schedule. I did take the kids to the family Bible study we attend twice a month. I even did all the dishes so there weren't any huge messes awaiting my dear, sweet wife. We three boys did not completely fall a part.
But, we sure did appreciate her. At least, I did. I think the boys were enjoying the good times a little bit, and the return of discipline might not be completely welcomed. They'll appreciate that when they are older. For now, I just thank God that I have such a true "Proverbs 31" wife. The things in my life that have been accomplished because of my dear wife are priceless and indescribable.
Two of those "things" are the two boys I "oreo-partied" with all weekend. Neither adoption would have happened without my wife's diligent attention to detail on filling out the paperwork. If you think I am exaggerating in any way, think again. Two weeks ago we went to consult with a couple that's considering adoption. When it came time to talk to them about how to fill out the reams and reams of paperwork and how to pay for an international adoption, I went silent. My wife Candy talked and talked because she knows this stuff. She's got it down pat. Not only has she guided us through our two adoptions (and pending third). She has guided many other families through as well.
I am proud of Candy. I thank God for her. She is incredible and my life is so much more than it would be without her. I could not ask for better, for there is none better out there.
PS - Did I mention the two dozen Krispy Kremes Henry and I and a few friends polished off Friday morning as the boys' weekend was getting started?