The women in my life make every moment matter

imageSitting on the edge of the bed this morning, I looked over at my wife’s slowly stirring figure. I watched her stretch beneath the blankets and finish with that little squeal that means it was a good stretch. She yawned, covering her mouth with the back of her hand like she always does. Her eyes focused and she slowly smiled at me.

I smiled back, knowing in that moment I was exactly where I was supposed to be in my life.

Before heading to work, I slipped a note into her lunch:

You make every day better because of loving you.

It made me think of how the women in my life — especially my wife, daughters and mother — are a constant inpiration, and how the gift of their presence is something worth celebrating every day. 

It’s true that the degree of celebration may vary sometimes with my teen daughter depending on her mood. However, she has a wonderful complexity that, though challenging, has helped me become a better father. Not to mention she’s the one who keeps me hip, plugged in and “extremely cool” (I’m quoting myself). Without her advice and insight into modern culture and social media trends, when I wear my white vans I probably wouldn’t know why teenagers are yelling, “Damn, Daniel!” Her humor often catches me off guard, which in itself is a gift that more than makes up for the occasional girl stomp or exaggerated sigh that causes me to grit my teeth and turn to DubSmash for comfort.

Again, without her I wouldn’t even know what DubSmash was. Or that it’s not really cool anymore.

Though I blame my oldest daughter for being easy to raise, therefore setting an unrealistic expectation bordering on parental entrapment, I realize it’s not her fault. Besides, had her brother been born first, I probably wouldn’t have her in my life at all — because he would have been an only child. Instead, I have spent the last 21 years marveling at her confidence and initiative. She was born an old soul whose insightfulness I’m fortunate to have in my life — and smile proudly at — as a father.

Each Wednesday, I’m reminded of where I came from while visiting with my mom over coffee. She had me when she was just 17. In a way, we grew up together — a child raising a child — creating a special bond and shared perspective of humor, love and what it takes to persevere through tough times. My father’s alcoholism lead to a broken family and ultimately divorce. But her love has been a constant force in my life, as well as her  optimism about it. She encouraged my creativity and helped me understand its value and importance. And still does.

Plus, she’s weird like me.

Each day became better for me 10 years ago when I met my wife. It was a connection that was instantaneous and complete, lighting up the world in a way I had never seen it before. Her wisdom and warmth have not only made me a better person, but loving her has made me the kind of man and father I want to be. She is my confidant, best friend, conscience and partner in crime. Someone who understands my point before the words leave my mouth — and even more importantly, her perspectives and example have made what leaves my mouth an improvement. I laugh harder, love more deeply and strive to live in the moment because of what we share.

Because I don’t want to miss a single moment.

Because every day is worth celebrating the incredible women in my life…

 

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I originally wrote and posted this on “National Women’s Day” last March, but as I once again woke to my wife’s beautiful, lazy stretch this morning, it reminded me that it’s never too soon — or too often — to express the appreciation I have for the women in my life…

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46 thoughts on “The women in my life make every moment matter

  1. What a lovely tribute to the lady in your life! I adore this line: “I smiled back, knowing in that moment I was exactly where I was supposed to be in my life.” There’s no place better…

  2. Being an empty nester, I had to google DubSmash. I know, it says a lot about my hip quotient but in my defense, I do know about Damn Daniel!

    I love your acknowledgement of the amazing women in your life. Sounds like your Mom & you did just fine growing up together Ned. Thank you for this beautiful read.

  3. This is beautiful, Nick ☺ It sounds like you have a great bunch of inspiring and brilliant women around you. It’s lovely to hear what they mean to you, and I’m sure they will appreciate being told.
    Thanks for the smiles, as usual, although this was a different kind ☺

    • I appreciate the kind words, AJ. And you’re right, I’m blessed with some terrific women in my life who I’m thankful for every day.

      Always glad to know when I can make people smile, regardless of how 😉

  4. Beautiful story. But I have to ask, why ARE teenagers are yelling, “Damn, Daniel!”? I do not get it. Do not judge me.

    • Lol! It started with these silly videos a guy made of his friend, Daniel, who wears white vans. They are both high schoolers. And the video is just him, showing Daniel in his Vans, saying “Damn, Daniel! Rocking the white Vans.” They are so silly they went viral. Just Google “Damn Daniel.” He was even on “Ellen” and got a lifetime supply of white Vans! Crazy… I’m still waiting for a lifetime supply of Marvel superhero Vans. I just need you to say, “Damn, Ned! Rockin’ the Marvel Vans again!” 😉

  5. Ugh! I can’t share This!! What kind of an example would it set with My people? It’s so beautiful and sweet but The Viking’s little morning squeaks are more like Concussion Bombs and my Love Notes are served on a plate under the Rullepolse, Remoulade and Pickled Herring and say “There was blood in the laundry hamper again and I think it was yours this time”. If I share this wonderful tribute My people might start thinking they’ve been jipped and no one (me) wants that. :o)

  6. What a great column. 🙂 I recently started reading your pieces, based on a recommendation from a fellow writer, Bun Karyudo, and the both of you are a real treat. Thanks! P.S. And this despite, I was a City Year guy this past year, working with 14-year-olds, and generally run screaming when I hear “Damn, Daniel” for the fourteen thousandth time

    • I really appreciate that, Robert. Glad to have you hear, and to know it came by Bun’s suggestion. That means a lot. Thanks for reading!

      And as for your P.S. Hahaha! Damn, Robert! (I feel your pain 😉 )

  7. You Ned, are truly a special and unique man. Your mom gets a lot of the credit for giving you the insight you have into women and how to appreciate how we work. I admire the way you talk about your wife and your girls and I think you are probably a pretty terrific father and husband! Rock on!~

    ps I am fortunate enough to have one of the unique men like yourself as my partner in this life… now! I would like to say it has always been this way, but alas, it took almost 25 years to have the relationship we do now. We just celebrated our 30th and I can’t imagine myself with any other human on this planet. God put us together… just like he did you and your girls! 🙂

    • Thank you so much, Courtney, and it makes me so happy to know that you and your husband have found that kind of happiness together. It truly makes life better than it could ever be without it. Like you, it took me a while to find it, including 15 years in an unhappy marriage first. But I know it lead to this point in my life, and a level of appreciation I may not have had without it. In my mind, whatever it took to get here was well worth it — and my wife was worth the wait 😉

  8. I like the love note and the way you know how she moves even when yawning. Dub smash i know but Damn Daniel… I will leave alone . I am just getting over the film “Death by spoon” and salad fingers was another that hooked me by proxy. After 30yrs of pants marriage I found my life. Together we applaud our sense of fun and live to adventure and most of all laugh. I say and do all the loving things that you do, I let him know we are good… and he calls me “Pooh” I’d like him to say the things you do but, he’s he, not you. And I will forever know what it’s like to be his Pooh.
    Happy living Ned, keep loving them girls 😇

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