Today, I can't stop thinking about my husband. When we went to the city hall yesterday to get our new residence permits (oh, what a story in itself...do you think ther eis a little box they can click on for someone like me to renew my permit? Oh no...there is nobody in Belgium with all my 'credentials', and the program was not made for a person with my dual-nationality, living in yet another country. They can't renew my permit...not without first contacting government officials to find out how, when I'm such a starange case...). Anyway, back to my husband.
We're standing there with our passport-sized pictures and Erwin says: Who is that guy? as he looks at his old residence card. He pulls out his new photo and we both look at the two very differnt faces starign back at us. "I think this guy is his dad," he says pointing at the new picture. "geez, I sure have gotten old."
Yes, my husband has gotten older. In the course of the past five years his youthful face and curly brown locks have given way to a bit ruddier face, a bit heavier and his brown curls have become infested with gray. He doesn't look like a little boy any more. He has the worry-lines of fatherhood etching his forehead, his eyes filled with doubts about how to best support his family. He has aged.
Yet, when I look at my husband, what I see is not an 'older' man. Though he'll reach the big 4-0 this year, staring back at me is someone who has worked hard, given his all, and made a good life for his family. He has been a success, and when I look at his face I see the most handsome man in the world staring back at me. He has allowed me to stay home with my children, to return often on American adventures, to open up a world of exploration for our family as we travel, sometimes within our own land, sometimes further into the great wide open. We have become more acquainted with each other, learned how to get along and have created a life of security within our family and our home. I see a father who never gives up, even when the going gets really tough. I see a husband who holds me at night in our bed as we discuss our weekly plans, laugh at silly things our boys have done, or he tightens his grip on me when I am flailing. I see a son who regularly makes plans with his parents, giving into his desire to just stay home to make sure everyone keeps the bond we have captured.
When my husband leaves the house each morning, giving me my daily dose of kiss with our goodbye, heading off to work to support our family, I don't see some middle aged guy starting to slow down a bit. What I see is a man I admire. Someone I am still in awe of all these years further down the road. Someone whose brown curls have gotten greyer, yes, but with each grey hair comes an even deeper sense of stability, strength in our marriage, and commitment to each other.
Nope, hon, that picture of you as a young whippersnapper has nothing on the man you have become, the man I love today. He just helped get you here, those mere five years ago. Give yourself five more years...we can share another laugh as we stand at the city hall with yet another new set of pasfoto's...you've earned those grey hairs!!