Friday, March 30, 2007

The Book Wife

Sometimes we are inspired at the oddest moments. Sometimes we realize how incredible someone is at the most inopportune times.

For me, such a moment came yesterday while my wife was out with a friend and I was sitting, of all places, on the toilet doing, well, toilet-related things.

Around me were books. Actually, pretty much anywhere you are in my house you will find books. But what struck me about these particular books was that I had never read any of them. My wife, however, had.

Ordinarily that would come as no particular shock. My wife is a reader. She has an insatiable thirst for books, and has probably read 100 times as many books already than I will ever read in my lifetime.

But my wife isn't just a reader of fiction. And this is where the realization was so powerful. My wife reads for entertainment, true. But she also reads to improve herself. Books about becoming a Godly wife, or about techniques in homeschooling, or about how to leave a family legacy with our kids, or any other topic you can imagine. My book wife is constantly trying to improve herself, and as a result, improve us, her family.

She isn't happy just being who she was yesterday, or who she is today...and she's not happy being satisfied with where our kids are now, or who I am as her husband and their father.

Just a couple days ago, the two of us sat down and had a conversation about things I won't bore you with now. But at one point, I told my wife how she reminds me of the character Yentl. Have you see the movie? Starring Barbra Streisand? Phenomenal movie, by the way. Sadly, it hasn't yet been released to DVD.

Anyhow, in the movie, Yentl is a actually a Jewish woman who is out of place because she wants to learn. She isn't happy being like the other woman, who happily do women's work. She wants to know what the men know, and more. So, when her own father dies, she cuts off her hair, puts on men's clothing, and becomes a boy.

Well, see the movie to learn what happens. And while my wife isn't about to cut off her hair and turn into a cross-dresser, she has that same desire to broaden herself, and in the process, those who know her.

And all of this came to me on the toilet last night. I become suddenly in awe of how incredible she really is. I mean, I knew she was incredible before. But even more incredible. And, in a way, somewhat intimidating, because I also realized how my own efforts seem to pale in comparison. In her efforts to improve herself, she is trying to, ultimately, improve her family. Can I say the same? Are my own pursuits, ultimately, for the benefit of everyone else? Or myself?


Vivian said...

Wow, that was pretty powerful and honest. Sounds like you have an awesome wife and partner. Even when she is gone she is pushing you to evaluate where you are. Remember what Socrates said?
"The unexamined life is not worth living."

MileMasterSarah said...

Ahhhh! How sweet is this? This is a wonderful introspection concerning your wife. Thank you for sharing.

Sherri said...

My husband thinks about me while on the toilet, I'm sure. Maybe not for the same reason. Probably like, "I wish she'd get all these durned books out of here."

Your wife's a lucky woman.

BTW, I came here through Snark, saw you liked Oryx and Crake and had to stop in. Have a great day :)