Ever since I have been married to Tracy (19 years this June), I have enjoyed doing things for her. From showing up at her work with a Starbucks and flowers to surprising her with gifts…this is something I enjoy doing. My favorite was when my kids and I brought a picnic lunch to her at work this past summer since we could not go in. This probably trickles over from the fact that my love language is physical gifts. She knows she is loved because I tell her every day but I have always been a gift giver. I am quite confident that I got this trait from my mom.
It has been in the back of my mind that the kids are watching everything I do. This really came alive to me when I surprised Tracy with a new car this past November. Her car was getting A LOT of miles on it and so I decided to trade in my Chevy HHR with 180,000 on it. Now I use her old car as my cruiser. I used that trade in towards a new ride for her. It was a fun thing for me to do. I loaded the kids up in it and drove to the place where she works. After taking the plates off of her car and putting them on the new car, I then put the new car where she normally parks complete with a bow on it. I parked the old car down a ways in the parking lot. After watching a movie on my iPad complete with snacks, Tracy came walking out of work. The kids got to see first hand Tracy’s surprised look.
When we got home that night we ate dinner. Emma said “Mom…you got a good man. He knows how to treat you.” This lead into a conversation with her from Tracy regarding how a man should treat a lady. Of course it is not always going to be a car, but to show acts of love and kindness is huge. Just this morning Tracy said she was freezing so after I got done removing snow at home and church, I stopped at Dunkin for a mocha. Emma saw that and was happy for Tracy. A simple mental note on my part made for another thoughtful gesture.
A few days ago, I surprised the family with plans for spring break. I addressed everyones envelope with a label that said “TOP SECRET: NAME”. For Tracy’s I did not use her name but rather Sweet Cheeks McGee. Emma once again could not stop talking about it, laughing, etc. She was truly enthralled by that name. That I would call Tracy that. It was another teaching moment for her. Emma read the envelope yesterday once again and just said "Sweet Cheeks McGee" followed by a giggle.
Since that day I have said, “you be sure when you eventually date that the man treats you the way I treat your mom.” I went on to say “any guy that wants to date you will have to be approved by me (jokingly) so that he knows how to treat a lady. If he doesn't pass...I will punch him”. Fact is there have been many times where I have taken James and Noah (though still very young) to surprise Tracy at work so that they can see how a man should treat a lady. No doubt they see me doing laundry, dishes and cooking dinner as well.
The Bible talks a lot about mentoring the younger ones. It is so easy to get wrapped up into the day to day dealings that one can forget the little things which really turn out to be big. When you are a parent there are always little eyes watching how you treat your spouse. I would imagine the same applies even when your kids are grown up. It is always important to model to your kids what a Godly husband or wife ought to be. Of course there will be some not so glorious moments…this is life. As a whole though we ought to do our best. I am a romantic and love pampering my wife. I am glad….it’s an answer to prayer really that my daughter is taking notice so that she knows not to settle for a shlub but rather someone who is going to love her the way her daddy loves her mom.