When I was about five years old I went up to my mom one day and staring at her with my big brown eyes asked her a very important question:
“Mommy, who is your best friend?”
She promptly answered, “Your dad.”
“Eww,” I responded. “Daddy can’t be your best friend! Girls have to have girl best friends and boys have boy best friends,” I explained. You can see I thought a lot about this.
Growing up that conversation never left me. And although I loved my dad dearly, I couldn’t understand how this grumpy Italian could be anyone’s best friend. But I’m glad he was my mom’s.
I, too, am married to my best friend. If you know me for five minutes you’ll know I also have a best “girl” friend, Haylee, but I don’t think she’ll mind if I talk about my dear husband. Ken might mind because he’ll read this post and in humility say, “Wow, she’s got a great husband. Wish I could meet him.” That’s just one of his best features.
Let me walk you through a typical day in the Shepardson Household. The alarm buzzes at 5:55am. I don’t hear it. I never hear it despite needing to be up by 6:00 to get Sissy ready for school. But Ken does. He gets up and immediately kneels at the foot of the bed to begin his day in prayer. Then he rubs my leg to rouse me to greet my day. On most days he encourages me to pray the morning offering with him even though I’m not ready to speak yet. Then he gets ready for work.
Ken NEVER misses a day of work. Okay, he has at least 11 times while I’m in the hospital giving birth to one of our children. But really, he never skips work. He takes his role as a provider very seriously. And, yet, when he’s not at work, he doesn’t bring it home. He doesn’t worry about it. Doesn’t fret. He used to bring his laptop when we went on vacation but he doesn’t do that anymore either.
When he does get home, he goes into dad mode. After sliding an LP onto his record player he enjoys one of his classic rock albums while he serves the family dinner and leads us in prayer. I’ll admit, praying to Led Zepplin is sometimes awkward.
After dinner he works on kitchen clean up. He is a master dishwasher loader!
The best part is he’s around to make sure the kids do their work. This is huge!!
After dinner he’ll read some mail and pay some bills. By 8:15 it’s time to sit down to read and pray. One night he’ll read from the Bible, another evening may be a catechism lesson. Also, he has a novel or saint biography that he adds to the rotation. On Thursday evenings we review the readings for the upcoming Mass on Sunday.
Ken even reads to us while we’re on vacation.
After reading we pray the family Rosary, with dad keeping us on track, even when he dozes off, err, I mean while he’s deep in meditation.
Before retiring for the night we send the kids to bed, Ken writes his plan for the next day, and we settle down to watch a TV show, enjoying some us time.
Stay tuned for The Half that makes me whole, part 2!