Say what you will about evangelical Christians, they have the marriage market covered. They get married more, younger, and add children to the mix. They also don't believe in divorce. There, me and evangelicals get along just fine. I didn't take getting married lightly. I was the girl who claimed she would never condescend to link herself to someone for life, let alone have a child. But here we are, and both Mike and I are convinced that we have found our partner for eternity. We take the awesomeness of our baby as a daily affirmation of this, of our genetic and fateful predestination for one another. That the mingling of our souls and our DNA was chosen for us before we were even born. That said, nothing is ever perfect. Having your life all jumbled up in another persons leads to several issues: reenacting the mistakes of your parents, taking your partner for granted, and closeness leading to contempt, to name a few. Raising a child in all this adds to the issues. There is little time to discuss when one feels overlooked or disrespected. Arguments, which can be healthy and fulfilling, are stunted into a quick and sharp whisper that leaves everyone feeling cold.
So, all this to say that there is a book, called The Love Dare, which is mingled with so much scripture as to make my staunchly atheist mother shudder. But it's also filled with daily exercises that promote respect and communication with your partner, and I appreciate the wisdom that it has imparted so far. I plan on buying the book, but the sample chapter had this to say:
"Anger almost never makes things better. In fact, it usually generates additional problems. But patience stops problems in their tracks. More than biting your lip, more than clapping a hand over your mouth, patience is a deep breath."
So yes, maybe this is just a bunch of WASPy repressive talk, but I think I could use a little repression at times. Too often I say what I think, to no good end. So the dare for day 1? Spend a day saying nothing negative to your spouse at all. It doesn't propose that you should never speak negatively to your spouse ever, but that its complete absence from your life for one day can make you appreciate its benefits.
The Love Dare is a forty day journey into appreciating and linking yourself to your partner. A dare from the couples who have undertaken the challenge and succeeded. Because I love my husband, because I love myself, I am devoted to strengthen and appreciate our relationship together. I am an agnostic, if we are going to put labels on things, so I can pick and choose from faiths what I find to be helpful and useful. I think yoga is good for the body, I think Buddhism is good for the brain, and I think a few Jewish shepherds had some helpful things to say about love.
As for updates: Ender's language development is exploding! He attempts to say all words that he sees in books, mostly with a lot of success. I suspect he will be a very well spoken little boy. He is still a little sick with a cough, but the dr said it was not a localized sound in his lungs so probably not an infection. Thank goodness, I really hate that he has already been on antibiotics once in his short life and my goal is not to repeat the experience any time soon.
I think all of our friends in Toronto will be very surprised to see how much Ender has grown since they saw him in July. He is so much bigger, more articulate and his dexterity is that of a grown person. He understands every word you say, which still takes some getting used to.
And with that, my beautiful baby boy is awake and I must go get him and feed him lunch!