Monday, September 1, 2014

A Real Man

As a single adult--even in my younger years--I always said I would marry a real man.

I've always been attracted to manual laborers with dirty hands and names on their shirts. My favorite place for eye candy has always been via a visit to the mechanic. No pretty boys for me, I wanted a real man. My future husband was not going to be afraid to get his hands dirty, he would have a farmer's tan, know how to use just about every tool, smell like grease, and of course, he would drive a big truck. Real men drive trucks after all.

While Zach fits some of those things in some ways, he does not fully fit my former "real man" definition. We've been through some more trying times this past year and he has been rock solid. Lately I've had felt such gratitude for this real man of mine.

A real man drives a tiny rollerskate car to work every day when he'd rather be driving a big truck because the money saved is better spent on bills and his family.

A real man willingly takes on extra work in a job he doesn't love so that his wife can stay home with their new daughter.

A real man comes home after working over twelve hours and willingly steps in to help with dinner if it isn't done yet. He also willingly rocks a constantly waking baby that he didn't get to see all day while she screams. 
A real man tells his wife she's beautiful even when she's thirty pounds overweight and doesn't see it at all.

A real man holds his wife through tears of frustration while holding back his own frustrations from the day.

I met Zach after a summer of him bailing hay and I was very attracted to his worn jeans and defined shoulders. I saw so much of my "real man" ideals in him. Now I see so much more. I wanted to kiss his shoulders, hold his hand, and find rest in his arms, but I never knew the real strength those arms possessed.

Those arms held me when my grandmother passed away, and then again with the passing of both grandfathers. Those hands gave my grandpa a final blessing before he took his last breath. Those arms held me all night when we lost our first pregnancy.

Those arms squeezed my hand while I worked to bring our baby into the world. Those arms held her tiny yet perfect body with a daddy's protection and so much love. Those hands cupped my face the day we became a family of three and my husband proclaimed, "I didn't know I could be this happy!" Those hands blessed our daughter with health, love, and happiness.

When I feel like I'm falling apart, those arms hold me together. They are my favorite place on earth.

Those shoulders, though? They must carry the weight of the world. He carries our family--which must at times feel like the heaviest load, but he never complains.

My husband is a real man with great strength.

What do you think makes a real man?

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