First, let me remind you that I’ve been a parent for over thirty years. My lovely wife and I have seven children who have all gone through various stages of awesomeness and not-so-awesomeness, just as I have. (My wife has never gone through a phase of non-awesomeness, at least not since I’ve known her.)
Today I received a lovely gift from my daughter – she’s number five of seven, and she’s somewhere in the middle of her BYU experience. (She needs so many credit hours to finish her program, it doesn’t make sense to speak in terms of sophomore and junior – I think according to those guidelines she’ll be a senior for two or three years…)
This little audio file is a great gift for several reasons:
1. I’m pleased that she (and our other children) values the marriage that their mother and I share. Each one of the kids who’s beyond surly-teenagerhood has expressed a desire to have what we have – a happy marriage in which both partners value, honor and trust one another.
2. I’m pleased that she read my personal history and remembered what I had said about her mother. One of the key reasons I wrote my history was so that my children would know about the people and ideas that are most important to me. At the top of that list is their mother.
3. I’m kind of happy that she thinks enough of what we have to share it with others. Our marriage has not been Disney-perfect by any means. But we are more in love today than the day we married, that’s for sure. (I remember a religion instructor I had at BYU years ago who pointed out that love was not defined by flowers and gifts during the engagement period. It was defined by a husband’s willingness to clean up after his wife vomits in the toilet for the tenth or twentieth or thirtieth straight day of her pregnancy, and her willingness to bear children, knowing that it would mean days of vomiting into the toilet.) As my wife told my daughter, we have come to understand forgiveness and the blessings of the atonement in our marriage as in other areas of our lives.By the way, here’s the passage from my history that my daughter quoted in her documentary:
The most remarkable thing about [my wife], and the reason I knew I was in love with her, was that I just felt so good around her. I not only felt good, like a good feeling, but I felt good, like being a better person, just because she was around me. I wanted to be good for her. I joked later as a bishop when talking to the youth that I married [her] because she was a seminary graduate. While that's probably not the linear thought pattern I had, it was sort of true. She was so good, and I wanted to be good to keep up with her.May I always live up to that desire.