He Stays

By Veronica

Last night at dinner my four-year-old began quizzing me about our family tree. This has been a theme for her lately. She chooses a random relative and asks questions about him or her. This time she piped up with “Mama, who was your daddy’s grandpa?”

That was not an easy question to answer. I have no stories about my father’s grandpa, because he abandoned his kids after his wife died. the children were raised by a strict and resentful aunt. I explained this briefly to my daughter, but then, thinking about the worries this might create for her, I added, “Not all men are good daddies like yours. Your daddy will not leave. He stays forever.”

This has been a bad week for us. We have been potty-training our middle two children with mixed success. My three-year-old, who already evidences her mother’s hatred of being wrong, has decided that since the potty is intimidating and the diaper is for babies, she will refuse to relieve herself at all ever. She screams and sits on the floor to clench the necessary muscles into submission. Meanwhile, the one-year-old has diaper rash and the new baby has a colon like Old Faithful, in force if not predictability, which makes carrying her is a special kind of Russian roulette.

In other words, it has been a really poopy week (supply more appropriate adjective as needed). And in this awful week, it has been a relief to realize that the husband is a stay-forever spouse. The stresses of this week have made us cranky with each other, and the volume of our conversations has been unnecessarily loud at times, but we are both still here. That’s worth a lot.

I am too old to naively believe that everyone who leaves is a monster, or that everyone who stays is a saint, but I am also old enough to believe that the lion’s share of love consists of showing up, day after day, no matter what you find when you do.

And apparently the husband feels the same way. I was sifting through old blog posts and I found this one from two years ago:

Az the Husband is the only happily married man on his shift. This sometimes means that his coworkers appeal to him to explain women or relationships. He is a terse, phlegmatic man, and his responses are somewhat unpredictable. Too much moaning about the cruelty of women, for instance, may elicit something like: “You know, this job does come with a mental health benefit. Maybe you should use it.”

But last night one of the single guys asked Az how you know when you finally meet your One True Love. Az’s response was brief.

“She’s the woman who stays.”

I could not have said it better myself.

On the days that potty-training has not overwhelmed her, Veronica can be found blogging at Toddled Dredge.

14 Responses to He Stays
  1. Adventures In Babywearing
    November 11, 2008 | 12:17 am

    That made me weak a bit in the knees. I hope for a less poopy tomorrow for you. (and me too)


  2. Rachel
    November 11, 2008 | 12:45 am

    Great thoughts! And so true. Sometimes marriage is about enduring the tough times. But without endurance through the tough times there can be no celebration of overcoming them and entering into the heavenly times!

  3. Sofia
    November 11, 2008 | 6:39 am

    Nice one.

  4. Blessed
    November 11, 2008 | 8:47 am

    That really is the truth isn’t it – true love isn’t about everything being wonderful all the time but about sticking around through the rough times because you know good times will come around again!

    Great post… hoping this week is going better for you!

  5. Courtney
    November 11, 2008 | 9:27 am

    I love this post. Thank you! I often find myself looking at my husband in wonder as to why he is still here. I often get very mean and we get grouchy with one another and sometimes even to the point of yelling but we love each other and heis the “go no where” type of guy. It makes me smile to knwo that i can not run him off and nor can he me.

  6. […] Also, my 5MFP post is up, in which I say nice things about Az the Husband. […]

  7. Kimberly
    November 11, 2008 | 5:08 pm

    Such a good tribute. I was thinking similar thoughts when I wrote about my husband for his birthday last week. When I was in my early 20s, a scintillating sense of humor and a ‘certain look’ were what I looked for in a man. I am glad I grew up before I met my husband and realized how important “staying” is.

  8. Alison
    November 11, 2008 | 7:28 pm

    I could not agree with this sentence more: “I am also old enough to believe that the lion’s share of love consists of showing up, day after day, no matter what you find when you do.” You are right as usual! I hope things get less poopy for you soon.

  9. Beck
    November 11, 2008 | 9:51 pm

    I think that there’s nothing more comforting, really, than knowing that your marriage can weather any storm – and once you know that, how stormy can anything be?

  10. Elisa
    November 11, 2008 | 11:09 pm


  11. Minnesotamom
    November 13, 2008 | 5:53 pm

    As wishy-washy and in-the-moment as I can be, I married up. My husband is The Husband Who Stays. And it is really a great comfort.

  12. Alyson
    November 15, 2008 | 8:54 am

    Thank you for a wonderful article. It is something we all need to remember to say thank you to our loving hubby who is there day after day for the family.
    I wrote a post on DH on 10/27/08:

    Alyzabeth’s Mommy for Eight Weeks!

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