children. joys and challenges, marriage, sleepless in samoa

Is He Man Enough?

‘Somewhere out there…someones saying a prayer…that we’ll find one that big somewhere out there.‘ ( Name that song! Name that movie!) Tomorrow is me and HRH’s 17th wedding anniversary. In honor of that, Im re-running this blog post.

I have three daughters. Somewhere out there right now – a mother,or a father or both-is raising the boy who will one day grow to be a man big enough and brave enough to marry one of my daughters. My eldest is knocking on 13 this year and entering the waters of High School Drama. It is highly likely that a boy of some kind is in her future. (hopefully the very distant future, when shes at least 25 or so…) So to the mother of that boy, wherever you are, this posting is for you.

Dear Mother-in-law-to-be,

I thought it best to avoid future marital problems between our children by just nipping them in the bud. I figure that if you and I can just set a few thing straight, then our two lovebirds can ride off into the sunset and live happily ever after.

First of all, I want you to know that my daughter is extremely beautiful, intelligent, thoughtful, kind, strong, creative and hardworking. A guaranteed future success. In other words, lets just agree right here and now, that there’s no possible way, your son could ever hope to be worthy of her love. But if he could accept that he will have to spend the rest of his life striving to be vaguely her equal – then we’re off to a good start.

Having said that, it must be admitted though that the aforementioned daughter’s father has been heard to say exasperatedly… “I feel sorry for the man who ever marries this girl!” and “I just don’t know what man is going to want to marry this girl!” (and of course the unspoken follow-on comment is… ‘wife its all your fault she is like this!’) It seems there are a few trying habits that my daughters have which could possibly aggravate your son just a teensie weensie bit…

Like, my 8yr olds belief that money flows forth like milk and honey out of cash machines. There we are perusing the mall in Auckland and shopping up a storm. Gleefully she asks – now what shall we buy mum?! I feel i should instill some financial responsibility so i reply – “we cant buy anymore things because we have no more money.” Her solution? “So lets go to the bank and get some more then!” But we have to put money in the bank for there to be more…”so call Dad and tell him to put lots more in for us!” They key word here being …more more more. This is the same child who when she says bedtime prayers asks God to “please bless my dad so he can be strong enough to work really hard and get us lots of money.” (a prayer which does little to inspire faith and happiness in her father i might add.) Obviously as her mother, Im doing something wrong. So, please ensure that your son is filthy rich. Because while my daughters will no doubt be earning 6 figure incomes ( doing what Im not sure – at the moment the aforementioned 8 yr old predicts she will be a supermodel OR a butterfly catcher…)it will be useful if your son can help out with filling pockets and money machines with fistfuls of cash.

Another slight possible hiccup for marital bliss could be my daughters propensity for violence. We are currently working on her anger management skills. When she was 2 she got so mad that she bit the wall. And the teeth marks are still there to prove it. Now shes a teenager. When shes nice – shes VERY VERY nice. She can read to little ones, happily make dinner, do dishes, spend hours cleaning her room and generally make me feel like a million dollars. But when shes NOT nice – well lets just say she makes those racquet smashing tennis players look like sappy Cabbage patch dolls. If anyone dares to cross her then the full measure of her wrath involves door slamming, pillow punching, trampoline wrestling, foot stamping and the scariest part of all – the MegaMusu Look. The Brooke Shields eyebrows come down, the nostrils flare, the lips purse, the deep breathing ensues, the nose crunches most unbecomingly…indeed she looks frighteningly like her mother when shes mad. A mother who hated it when her newly wed spouse refused to argue with her when she was mad and instead went out “for a walk until you get over it”. HOW DARE YOU! COME BACK HERE AND FIGHT WITH ME WHEN I TELL YOU TO!” Hmm…Ive come a long way since then…I think tho that you should definitely teach your son that women are strange and when they get mad its best for a beloved husband to take a long walk until she gets over her tantrum.

I could go on for ages about what your son needs to survive being married to one of my daughters. But someone said it best i think – the best thing a man can do for his children is to love their mother…and vice versa. You see, your son will have a very hard act to follow. My three daughters have seen their father treat the woman in his life with respect, honor, love and supreme patience. He places her first above all else. Above sports, work, friends, TV, relaxation and even running. He has given up bad habits for her. He endures all her annoying quirks and idiosyncracies. He gives her advice when she wants it. And compliments when shes looking her ugliest. And tough talk when she needs it. He has weathered her storms. And seen her through dark times. He is her best friend. He is the measuring stick that my daughters will hold your son to.

So – will YOUR son be man enough to measure up?

4 thoughts on “Is He Man Enough?”

  1. Anon Number One ( aka my sibling) – how is your cop anyway?!Vern – You got it…'Fievel! Fievel! Where are you?!' Super pancakes for you from that Pancake place I am dreaming of one day eating at…Anon No. Two – Dont worry youre great! (Unless youre 13 yrs old and in Sades class at school, in which case, yes you are SOOOOO inferior in every way…)

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