Here’s to the men who are out there, doing stuff.
The men who make the Whole-family Machine work.
The man who leaves room for his wife to let go and play again, sometimes — to be the person he remembers her being when they began dating, and who his wife would like to remember being again, every once in a while; and she can, because her man is out there, and he is doing stuff and he knows that his chances are better that he’ll have more time and energy to play this way, also (sans nagging and guilt-free!) — because the rest of the stuff that goes with running a family is getting done and he’s not necessarily being pulled in to do it, too.
Here’s to the men who take up the responsibility of being out there doing stuff without a question, knowing there are plenty other responsibilities being taken up at home — plenty of other stuff that is being done, every moment their children breathe and need a clean home in which to live, learn, and grow.
Here’s to the men out there doing stuff — and who know how many other men there are out there, doing stuff. Here’s to the men whose greatest fear is being a dead weight within their own marriage and who do everything they can to steer far around and above ever being considered one. The man who never gives his wife room to question her choice of partner; and the man who knows that if he’s not doing stuff for long enough, his wife will begin to regret and look down on herself for her choice which has left her doing all the stuff, all of the time — because she knows that it didn’t have to be that way and that it still doesn’t, if she simply stopped caring about their children believing in marriage.
Here’s to the men who know that it’s not about the money, really. It’s about not leaving their partner high and dry and feeling like they’re having to do adulthood by themselves. It’s about not just letting their wives live in an anxiety-riddled mode of a single mother trying to survive.
Here’s to the men who just know, without having to be told, that every type of work is different and has its own ethic. Here’s to the men who know that they are an example for their children of both whom to be, and whom to marry. To you, men who know what stuff you’re better at, and you who lean in to do those things without being asked — to relieve the inevitable pressures of familyhood; and here’s to the man who listens to his wife when she tells them what these things are if he doesn’t already know, because she probably does.
This is for the man who has managed to grow up through the decades and all of the changes (many for the better), without losing grip on how supporting himself is supporting his family, and supporting his family is supporting himself. The one who knows it’s bada*% to work to do his part, and that it’s actually the opposite of rad to try to not.
Thank you for demonstrating your love and care for our family in your unique way that our sisters, friends, brothers, and cousins don’t.
Here’s to you, men who know that Carhartts, a pair of well-worn jeans, a nice pair of office pants that sit “just so”, firemen’s coveralls, or police blues are way sexier than a man in a robe and slippers all day long…all day long (see what I did, there?). The man who is smart enough to know that the Hugh Hefner look only works for Hugh Hefner because he’s got a big enough house that the bunnies don’t have to see him most of the time if they don’t want to, standing around the kitchen in his silky wrap.
Here’s to the men who don’t let her do it all, because she always will — especially if she has to.
We used to be good at expressing our gratitude for this stuff you’re out doing, men. But we haven’t been, for a while now.
Thank you for being out there, and for the stuff you’re doing.