Camille has had a stomach virus since Friday night that is giving her many dirty diapers. Those relentless dirty diapers, as often as we change them, have ripped her little bottom to shreds, causing her to cry out, while wincing and patting her tush, "Mama! 'Ting!!" (Mama, this stings!!")
Loads of bird baths, clean onesies, running around naked, and a doctor's visit later, Camille was still feeling yucky Monday morning. Whether it was all the dirty diapers, or seeing Camille's raw bum, or feeling sympathetic for our miserable little girl, or I was catching this virus too, I don't know. But by Monday morning, I was feeling sick to my stomach.
Monday night was a "Guy's Night" Erik had planned for the staff guys to say adios to one of the guys who was moving back to Texas. Midday, Erik called to check in on me. I could hardly answer. I felt defeated and couldn't get a leg up on the day. He came home. He took over with the girls; I fed Jack and went to bed. A few phone calls later, he cancelled his involvement in the guy's night out. I didn't ask him to. In fact, I asked him not to. But he had already assessed the situation and knew he needed to be home with his family. This is Erik.
Since we got engaged, Erik's mentality has been that the two of us are now one.
I remember that August in 2004 when we got engaged. Erik had flown to South Carolina from Canada, bringing among other things, a camera and laptop to document our engagement.
"Can I borrow your camera to take a few shots?" I asked.
He looked at me and smiled. "It's OUR camera."
I was a slow learner. Later I asked, "Can I use your laptop?"
"You mean OUR laptop?"
Erik had instantly changed from first person to third person the moment we got engaged.
"I" and "mine" became "we" and "ours".
The two are one.
This thinking wasn't limited to our "stuff". It became a part of our life... how we function together. When five o'clock rolls around, Erik "clocks out" of work, but not out of his position as my husband and our children's dad. He doesn't come home and kick his feet up while I finish out the day of making dinner, feeding the family, and putting the kids to bed. He is there. He is involved. "My day isn't over until OUR day is over." The two are one.
Yes, we have different roles. There are things that he initiates and things that I initiate in our lives (i.e. bills or cooking). But these roles have not negated our willingness or availability to help each other carry them out. "How can I be most helpful right now?" "In the situation you're in, how can I be the most supportive to you?" These statements are powerful. They are non-threatening. They are identifying, unifying, and life-giving. I often hear them asked of me. The two are one.
This mentality is hard for me sometimes. On Monday, Erik cancelled his involvement in the Guy's Night because I needed him. With a husband like this, I don't want to deny him anything!
Why have I have interwoven some of our wedding pictures throughout this post that began with Camille's diaper rash? How are the two connected? I did this to picture the fact that Erik's commitment to me wasn't just for that beautiful day when I was feeling good, as slim as I have (healthily) been, and everything was like a fairy tale. His commitment still continues five years later, through tough days, three children, weight-gain, and diaper rashes.
"Husbands, love your wives JUST AS Christ loved the church and GAVE Himself UP for her" Ephesians 5:25 (caps mine)