A typical day here starts with Maritus (my husband) hopping in the shower while I head downstairs to start breakfast.  Usually the kids have been up for 10-15 minutes or are shortly behind me.  First comes Maritus’ breakfast.  Then, while he’s eating I prepare three more meals for his workday.  Sprinkled in there, the kids come sit and eat lots of bacon and sausage with Daddy.  Maritus then heads out to do battle for 10-12 hours a day.  He does this 5-7 days a week, depending.

While he works, the kids and I spend our day together.  Most days are filled with homeschooling and chores and play and laughter (and discipline and corrections and everything else one would naturally expect).  Yesterday happened to be heading to a local garden to look at butterflies and climb trees.  It was a stellar day.  Evening brings getting dinner on the table where we then spend time together and talk about so many different things.

I am telling you all of this because, regardless of the day, I have been given a gift (though this is not the correct word.  More on that later).  The gift of staying home with my children and sitting in the warm sun watching my kids marvel at 10 different types of butterflies.  The gift of “Look how high I was able to climb, Mommy!” while my husband fights on our (and his own) behalf. He gets to see all of this through pictures sent to his phone.  The beauty in his day is a picture of a yellow and black butterfly and his daughter high up in the tree.  But I am there, for all of it.  It is a gift that I will be eternally grateful for.

I say the word “gift” isn’t the correct word for what my husband has given me because a gift is given freely, with nothing expected in return.  Yet, that is not how a marriage works.  Maritus has expectations of me, as he should.  As should all husbands.  He would not give me this if I did not care for him and our family the way I do and I would not deserve it.  A husband is right to have expectations of his wife for the things he has given to her and his family.

We talked about this last night and he said it is an honor for him to do his duty every day because he is able to give us all of this.  It made my heart sing, because I get to help him bring this honor.  Maybe that is the true gift.