My husband and I recently returned from THE most epic vacay of our lives. Road tripping up the west coast from San Francisco through British Columbia, camping and hiking and biking and airbnb-ing and generally experiencing as much of God’s glory as we could get our mits on. I’m convinced the Lord’s throne resides out there.
And then we came home.
And a few days afterward, I came down with not one, not two, but THREE awful sicknesses: strep throat, a sinus infection, and a stomach bug. It was legitimately miserable. I thought the first few months of pregnancy were bad, but this smashed that completely. Outside of huge things, like malaria and the swine flu, I haven’t been this sick in years. It’s like I had somehow forgotten how to be sick.
And then, two days later, The Professor came down with strep. Which meant my season of sickness had ended (whether or not that was actually true) (it wasn’t).
Y’all, this is the first time since we met that he’s been sick.
And, boy, has he been pitiful.
And I love it. Not just secretly- I openly love it.
You see, the man I married is a fiercely independent person. He has actually said these words to me a few times: “I don’t really need you- I’m a grown man. You don’t need to worry about me.” He meant them kindly, but it struck chords way down deep.
Because as fiercely independent as he likes to believe he is- and as fiercely independent as I like to believe I am- there’s another quality that is deep-seated and long-suffering within me: nurturing.
I am a caretaker. Comforting, nurturing, sheltering. One who desires to be needed.
If you’re familiar with the Enneagram, I’m a Two. If you’re not familiar with the Enneagram, tread lightly- it’s pretty much a slap-in-the-face personality test which tells you all the hard things and sin patterns you need to be careful of, and how to mature through them.
Twos- Helpers– those with a ‘need to be needed’- at their very worst can be insecure and manipulative, and at their very best can be the best lovers and caretakers on the planet. selfless and giving with a genuine heart motivation.
This is how I feel toward my husband.
I hate that he’s so, so, so sick.
But I absolutely love taking care of him. I love that he needs me to make him food, or bring him water, or pat and soothe him. I love that he is far more generous with his words than normal (“I’m so glad you’re mine. I’m so glad you’re with me.”) I love that he stays in bed and watches movies- gently breaking the one rule we have in our bedroom: no technology. I love it.
I love that, when push comes to shove, he has let down a few walls to let me see his weaknesses and frailties. And that I can do something to soothe and heal and encourage him.
I truly don’t need him to need me for anything. I love that he’s an independent, solid, stand-on-his-own-two-feet kind of guy.
But it’s certainly wonderful to feel like I’m making a difference in his comfort and his life, and that he allows me to do it. I hope this is how it feels when we finally meet our daughter.