A small flame

A small flame

Real Men

When I came home from the hospital I felt pretty good.
Better than I had before the surgery, for sure.
And, confession? I looked at the three little incisions,
the largest just an inch, and thought 'This is nothing.'
(I've birthed all my babies by c-section!)

But it wasn't nothing.
And I soon discovered that doing practically nothing left me exhausted
and that even a little was too much.

So I said no to most the things I thought I could do
and yes to what my wise Hubby thought I was up to. . . .

Yes to friends who brought delicious meals,
Yes to pain meds that left me feeling odd and floaty but pain-free,
Yes to naps and rest,
Yes to doing. . . well. . . not very much.
And, most of all, yes to my husband,
my knight-in-shining-armor who protected me from life
(and especially from myself) so I could heal.

And after several days and lots of yes-es,
I say to my boys, around a meal that a friend had cooked and my husband had served:

Let me tell you, boys, about a man.
See, any guy can grunt and roar and 'macho'.

But a real man?
It takes a real man to clean up after his wife is sick
all. night. long.
It takes a real man to wash the dishes every day because his wife can't.

A real man gently helps her out of bed
and kneels and puts on her shoes and socks,
and makes sure she's comfortable,
and all the time makes her feel like the queen.

So, I say to my boys-fast-becoming-men,
whatever life you live when you're grown,
make sure of this, boys:
be Real Men.
Make sure that you do for other people
- a wife, a friend, a stranger, -
the things they can't do for themselves.

And they sober-nod
while their Real Man Dad clears the table and helps me lay down to rest.

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