“The world is held together by moms and duct tape.”
This is Mr. Kauffman. Just thought you should know that up front. I’ve always thought it would be fun to hack Jenny’s blog and surprise her with something sweet. Today, Mother’s Day, is that day I guess.
We were over 1,500 miles apart when the concept of being parents hit us between the eyes. I was in Jamaica with Malone College Chorale, when our 1st wedding anniversary was just around the corner. What an odd place to be (not with her) when you hear your young bride say for the first time:
“We’re having a baby!!”
I was scared and happy— scared because I felt like I was barely taking care of her adequately the way it was, much less adding a little bambino to the mix.
I was happy for her because it felt like she deserved something special for how hard she had toiled for us while I was in school. We’d have our baby, and I would begin working and providing like real men are supposed to. Life was about to get good.
Bear in mind that the horizon did not provide any “blingy” incentive for my faithful wife. Delirious wealth or stable plans were undreamed of. I wasn’t studying law or business or medicine. No, this boy was studying the art of singing ‘perdy.’
Jenny was working tirelessly toward a completely unknown future that she fully understood could take her away from her family and friends. In fact, I think she was kind of excited about the unknown–like she was gearing up for a great adventure (one of the traits I love about my wife).
She never questioned, never wavered in her commitment, never made a fuss. Not even when (during this exact time while I was in Jamaica) she had to go to her parents in tears to ask for $200 to stick into our overdrawn checking account temporarily.
Yes, this woman knows what it’s like to be outta money and outta luck–while her husband is far away making pretty music for adorable Jamaican kids, carting gravel down a little trail in a wheel-barrow, and jumping off the trampolines at Margaritaville.
Little did we know that a few weeks later we would be completely devastated by the doctor’s “can’t-seem-to-get-the-heartbeat” line. Although our lives were far from perfect, we were totally unprepared for this. The possibility was the furtherest thing from our minds.
I fully understand this kind of thing affects different people in different ways. All I know, is that we entered an extremely dark time of grief and feeling sorry for ourselves, especially when it happened again in what seemed to be only a few short months later. A time in our lives we will never forget, and for which we are often strangely thankful.
Sometimes I wonder how these experiences shaped the mother that Jenny is to our girls now. By the way, she’s a top-notch mom. She still looks at our girls and often muses something like, “What if I would’ve been able to see a snapshot of them back when I was having my miscarriages?” It’s as if she’s trying to reconcile the intensity of her present joy with the near-depression she was battling through then. Like she’s going back and giving the old Jenny a big hug and telling her it’ll be ok. I find this utterly adorable.
Pain redeemed on this side of Heaven is a gift, not an entitlement. We’re conscious of this.
Not a day goes by, it seems, without her savoring the gift of motherhood. She sees it as a complete and total privilege not to be taken for granted. It’s a beautiful thing. Contentment is always beautiful. Some say it’s the greatest wealth. I know from experience that having a wife like her is great wealth.
Solomon’s words come to mind:
A wife of noble character who can find?
She is worth far more than rubies.
Her husband has full confidence in her
and lacks nothing of value
She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life.
She sets about her work vigorously;
her arms are strong for her tasks.
She sees that her trading is profitable,
and her lamp does not go out at night.
In her hand she holds the distaff
and grasps the spindle with her fingers.
She opens her arms to the poor
and extends her hands to the needy.
When it snows, she has no fear for her household;
for all of them are clothed in scarlet.
She makes coverings for her bed;
she is clothed in fine linen and purple.
She is clothed with strength and dignity;
she can laugh at the days to come.
She speaks with wisdom,
and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
She watches over the affairs of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness (well, except for Facebook).
Her children arise and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:
“Many women do noble things,
but you surpass them all.”
Yea, that. Jenny, I love you and I’m blessed-beyond-words to call you my wife and the mother of our children.