Since I’m still mooning over a new baby all the time (he’s very cute), I haven’t had time to write many new posts in the last two weeks. I’m brushing off and retouching an old post I wrote two whole years ago. Happy Father’s Day, dads!
In our family, the formal part of schoolin’ is mostly my job. Home education is a big job, though, and I’m not sure I’d be able to do it all by myself. People are constantly and naively calling me “supermom” for what I do, and it seems unfair to me that Get Along Husband doesn’t get as much credit as I do. In fact, most dads don’t get enough credit. They do more than just bring home a paycheck, you know!
While I deeply (very deeply) appreciate the financial aspect of his role in our lives, I think it’s about time we praised Jesse for some of the other things he does for us.
He talks without a hillbilly accent. I’ve been at home so long that I’ve completely forgotten how to mask my Appalachian drawl. Having given up on caring what fancy people think of me anyway, I just stopped trying to sound like them. Jesse’s TV-American accent gives my children a chance to emulate speech that doesn’t sound like Jethro Bodine on Dramamine. This ought to come in handy when they try to get jobs. My accent won’t land anybody a high-dollar career–or even a call-back from the job interview. Not that I care. I don’t want a job anyway. But my kids might, someday.
He teaches. Thank God, I have a husband who is willing to come home after work and dive into a science lesson instead of the latest episode of, um…what is it people are watching these days, anyway? He’s a wonderful teacher, and knows everything. I mean it. When I need to know something, I ask him before I bother with Swagbucks. (Sometimes he makes fun of me for the random and ridiculous questions I throw at him, but really, it is very rare that he doesn’t know the answer.) Jesse is always good for impromptu history lessons, field trips, and bed-time stories.
He backs me up. When my kids won’t listen to me, they’ll by-golly listen to Dad! Long ago, an aunt of mine explained to me how her son was impossible to deal with until his father made a habit of instructing him to obey her before he left for work each morning. I scoffed at the time–how could anybody be so weak as to need to threaten a child with his father’s displeasure to make him behave?–but when we had our own rather stubborn boys, I found out she was right. There is nothing like Daddy to keep a boy in line.
(Off topic: That same aunt also once recommended I buy a cheap used car with cash instead of going into debt. I rejected that advice. Three car loans later, I finally caught on. Listen to your elders, people! Unless they’re saying crazy things like not to can vegetables during that time of the month because it’ll spoil the pickles, or not to reach up to tie things while pregnant because you’ll tie the baby’s cord around his neck. Use discretion when deciding which old people to listen to, and when. But I digress. Back to the Dad thing.)
He sacrifices for us. Not only does this fine man work long hours at a sometimes-thankless job to earn the money to pay for all this, but he never complains about it when we can’t keep up with the Joneses because his wife just went a wee bit over budget buying books. Given his love for computers, gadgets, and sci-fi books, this is a huge sacrifice on his part, and one many men wouldn’t be willing to make.
He plays. I don’t know about other moms, but I really don’t like to wrestle very much. I don’t mind a nice pretend tea party, as long as it lasts less than five minutes (I have the attention span of a gnat), but I’m not up for the kind of play my kids want to do. Board games are great. Moon sand? Forget it! Thankfully, there is one adult in this home who will gladly take the kids outside and sword-fight with them for an hour. I remember my dad doing the same thing for us, so I assume this is just a dad’s natural role in life.
He accepts his children. My husband spends a lot of his free time just being with the kids. No plans, no pressure. Our kids have that confidence and sense of belonging that fathers are indispensable for instilling in their offspring. The knowledge that “My Dad accepts me!” is truly priceless for boys and girls alike.
He loves, unconditionally. The most meaningful thing my husband does is wrap his family in love. Jesse has always supported me, both financially and emotionally. If it weren’t for his long-suffering, gentle spirit, I doubt I’d have even survived my 20′s, let alone become a (if I do say so) fairly good mother of
four five wonderful children. My husband loved me as Christ loves the Church for years before he even knew he was supposed to. His support has given me the confidence to do this homeschooling thing, even when there didn’t seem to be anyone else who thought I should.
You know, when I put it in words like that, it sounds an awful lot like Dad actually does something around here, doesn’t it?
Happy Father’s Day, Jesse! You’re our hero!
If you’d like to know more about Jesse, AKA Get Along Husband, perhaps you’d like to follow his blog or read some of his posts on this blog (linked below).