March 3, 2006

My parents are rational people. Rational people and good parents. And although I’d fail utterly at compiling an exhaustive list of qualities and virtues and life mantras they have instilled in both my sister and I, today I’ve come across some of the remnants of one thought that they took particular pains to keep at the forefront of our young minds. Boys will hurt you. My sister and I grew up under the understanding that if given the opportunity, a boy will hurt you. So in conclusion, we were bid to hold the standard “guilty, very, very guilty until proven, in every court of law that has ever existed, innocent.” And it’s interesting to me to see how this family law played itself out in the tumultuous teenage years Amy and I both survived. Of course in theory we both understood this law to our core, and of course we both felt it necessary to perform our own field tests(s)(s). And although I’m not quite sure I hold as strictly to the rule as my parents would like (I’m not a parent yet!), I think my sister would agree that we might have been better off giving it more weight than we did. We lived, we hurt, we were hurt, we learned.
I’ve failed to mention that this rule has a clause always attached to it. State the “Boys” rule and in the next breath there will always be “and if they do, they will face the wrath of dad.” Let’s just call this the “daddy” clause. Although rarely necessary in practice, this clause offered MUCH comfort in situations of discomfort. We both knew that at any moment we could offer to any young man who happened to try our patience, push our limits or exercise his strength, the small yet powerful suggestion: “Try it and my dad will kill you.” Such a safety net. I’ve used it before and let me tell you that “i’m not afraid to call my dad” will being The. FEAR. OF. GOD. into the eyes of an agressive young man. Amy and I had each experienced the wrath of Jim. We both had the knowledge that such wrath would be multiplied exponentially if it involved the health and safety of his daughters. It is no small thing that my husband and my brother-in-law have survived to be crowned with title “son”.
Surely I digress! This past week I came to the realization of this whole “leave and cleave” transition brings about a shift in that clause. In a (not so rare) situation in which my dear, dear husband brought joy upon his life by not letting me use the bathroom WITH THE DOOR SHUT,I found myself chasing him around the house, ready to rip off his head and praying to the bladder fairies that they would grant me this one wish of not wetting my pants!! while I tried to win this ridiculous argument. (And maybe this is an extreme example because of the childish nature of the argument, even so…) I caught myself ready to yell, “I will have my dad kick your…” and I was shocked to realize that my husband now holds the role of defend and protect at all cost. Understandibly, this realization did not help me AT ALL in the current situation, it was an important realization.
I’ve always felt safe with Josh. I’m confident that my health and well-being are a major priority to him. And in the rare occasion that this is tested, I see him rise to the occasion. (Given that when this occasion involves spiders, his bravery needs only the smallest bit of encouragement by the way of “GET THE FREAKING SPIDER OR I WILL GET YOU!!”) On my wedding day, as my dad took my hand from his and placed it in Josh’s, he then bestowed upon Josh the “daddy” clause. Josh has no idea what just hit him. Good thing dad is always a backup.


2 Responses to “clause”

  1. Kristi said

    Oh, Amber…good thoughts and realizations. Soon to be experienced first-hand by myself……


  2. Anonymous said

    What you wrote just reiterates the huge but awaesome responsibility that men have when they get married, some aren’t ready for it and must realize all that it involves.Paul was right you know.

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