Maybe I’m ahead of the game, but I don’t think it’s too early to pray for the man who will become My Girl’s husband
My Girl: “I can never get married. I need to pass on our family name.”
This was said to me on the way home from horseback lessons. Seconds before we had been talking about the difference between steaks and pork chops. So, don’t ask me how My Girl went from Point A to Point B because her mind is a labyrinth I’d rather not explore.
All I could think is that there were a lot of things wrong with that statement, but did I really want to correct any of them?
Dear Future Future Husband
Though My Girl is too young to think about marriage (she turns 9 in a week), it’s definitely something I think about for her.
I’m not one of those moms who cries every time her child gets older or hits another milestone. Don’t get me wrong; I can’t even fathom My Girl growing up, moving out, living on her own and only calling me on Sunday evenings. It makes me physically sick.
But I also don’t dread her growing up. Partly because she drives me absolutely bananas? Maybe. But more because I’m so excited to see how she turns out.
I’m a very much instant-gratification kind of person. That’s why I read spoilers about books and movies incessantly. Asking me to wait 18, 20, 30, 50 years to see all my hard parenting work pay off is a lot to ask of my limited patience.
So thinking of My Girl’s future husband does happen more than you might think.
Dear Future Prince George Husband… Or some other rich husband
Obviously, she’s going to marry Prince George and become the next Meghan Markle of England. I’d like to say she will be the next Kate Middleton, but let’s be truthful here: My Girl isn’t big in the calm, elegant, and poised categories. A movie star turned princess is more her style.
And if that doesn’t work out, she’ll marry Chris Pratt and Anna Faris’s boy. I’ve done the math. They are about the same age, and how can he not grow up to be a heartthrob?
And if that doesn’t work out, I’m still rooting for LeslieAnn’s boy.
So even though I have it all worked out – obviously – I do pray for My Girl’s future husband.
I don’t pray that he’s a prince or rich movie star. I just pray, first, that his parents are raising him right. If you think about it, he’s turning into the person he’s going to be 18, 20, 30, 50 years from now. So I pray that his parents are teaching him to not be an asshole, like I’m desperately teaching My Girl.
Dear The Husband and other great male figures
I’m also praying that he’s developing the strength, patience, tolerance and courage to handle an adult My Girl, because my prediction is that she’s going to be a force to reckoned with.
First, the poor guy is already burdened down with high expectations. As much as I tease and mock The Husband, he’s a pretty amazing husband and daddy.
He blamed my father for this.
In fact, on more than one occasion, he has said:
“Your dad has ruined my life.”
He doesn’t mean it in the “your dad raised an asshole that I’ve now mistakenly tied myself to with gold wedding bands for the rest of my life” way. At least, not most of the time. He means it in the “your dad spoils your mom so much that the women in your family think that is normal behavior.”
He’s not wrong.
My dad helps with a lot of the cooking. He helps with laundry. He drives three hours out of his way when vacationing to avoid interstates because they make my mom nervous. He stopped making left-hand turns years ago because those also, too, make my mom nervous. He brings home peanut M’n’Ms to cheer up my mom. He exclusively buys her pajamas from Victoria’s Secrets (and get your minds out of the gutter, I mean true pajamas – like soft, fuzzy, flannel ones).
So that’s the list of normal husband expectations The Sister and I were raised with.
And guess what? Our men have stepped up (maybe mine somewhat begrudgingly).
You all know I’m spoiled. The Husband’s reasons for being institutionalized also work in my favor – he cleans, he cooks, he shares all parenting duties half-and-half, and he tolerates show tunes playing at dinner every night. He’s a partner in every sense of the word. (If you haven’t read about my diagnosis of his issues, you can here.)
And The Sister? She’s got a good one, too. Once when we were out to dinner, I watched her hubby add sugar to her tea and stir it for her. When I looked at her with incredulity, she shrugged and said: “Because I’m pregnant?”
First, it wasn’t because she was pregnant. He just loves to take care of her. And second, maybe I missed the boat on the whole pregnancy thing. That kind of pampering did look appealing.
Dear Future Husband – embrace Disney quotes
But in regards to My Girl’s potential, future husband… Prince George is going to have to be raised right to achieve the standards that the men in her life have set.
It’s not only that. But there are a few other qualities that I pray for him to have to be well supplied to handle My Girl.
He needs to be able to speak movie quotes and song lyrics fluently.
I understand that this is my fault. My Girl got this from me. I can equally quote Adam Sandler (Billy Madison, anyone?) and Shakespeare. It’s a combination of lots of reading, obsessively researching any movie/show/book I like, and a strange knack for remembering others’ catchy words.
My Girl picked this up at an early age. At age four, she would randomly throw herself to the ground, start convulsing and yell: “Blooood! Blooood! Blooood! … And death.”
I would just act natural, like, there’s nothing to see here folks. She’s just quoting Zootopia. Your 4YO doesn’t do that?
It’s only gotten worse from there. All last summer, anytime something of a small size was mentioned My Girl (with complete encouragement from her momma) would say: “Spoons. Tiny spoons. How do they make them that tiny?” That’s curtesy of Aladdin, the live action one, if you didn’t know.
And now, all quotes are pulled from one of the 46 Hamilton songs My Girl has memorized. The Husband was lamenting how we listen to the soundtrack “nonstop” (see… poor guy puts up with my show tunes). That started My Girl on a rap monologue of the song with the same name: “I practiced the law, I practically perfected it; I’ve seen injustice in the world and I’ve corrected it.”
Dear Future Husband – learn to love all God’s creatures
My Girl’s future husband needs to be an animal lover plus. I add the plus, because a normal animal lover would be tolerant of three dogs, a cat and a tropical fish aquarium in their married home. That’s not My Girl.
Yes, she’ll have the dogs and the cats. But she also hopes to be best buds with cheetahs, giraffes, takins, snow leopards, elephants… The list goes on and on.
Maybe it’s more accurate to say he needs to be Africa-friendly. He’ll need to be outdoorsy, because My Girl has big plans to living in a tree house in Africa. Since she plays around with the idea of also living in the jungle, it might help if he’s not allergic to different types of poisonous plants.
And he certainly can’t be afraid of reptiles. Besides the obvious snakes they will encounter in the Amazon, My Girl is the proud owner of a Russian tortoise – life expectancy 80 years. We got this tortoise three years ago at the ripe old age of 6 months. It’s safe to say Totty is going to outlive us all.
Besides a super hero, the only boy alive who may currently fit that description is Steve Irwin’s son. But Robert Irwin is a cutie, so I’ll support him if he asks for My Girl’s hand.
Dear Future Husband – hands on
He needs to be a snuggler. It’s hard for me to imagine any sort of “hands on” when it comes to My Girl and her future husband, but, unlike The Husband, he needs to be ok with lots of up close and personal time.
To say My Girl is a snuggler is like saying Warren Buffet is able to pick up the check from lunch. She’s more like a mix between a golden retriever and a barnacle. She’ll follow you around with a happy, eager smile – good naturedly waiting for you to finally sit down and open your arms wide. Then she attaches herself to you in what seems like a permanent fashion, intertwining her arms and legs until there’s no part of her small body that isn’t pressed into yours.
So, Future Husband… Let me know how that goes.
Dear Future Husband – good luck…
I can’t decide on his next quality. My Girl is a talker. (Also, a huge understatement.) Some days, I pray for God to give this future husband the patience and amusement to sit back quietly and let My Girl ramble at the speed this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans. But then other days, I think maybe he needs to be a bit of a talker and make My Girl finally sit still and listen to someone else for a change.
I haven’t figured out which works best for My Girl, so I’ll leave that to her husband to decide. Sucker… Ha!
Dear Future Husband – remember that girls rule
He needs to be a feminist. Before The Husband scoffs, men certainly can be and are feminists too. And My Girl is going to need one. This isn’t all my fault, though my three classes of Women’s Studies in college didn’t help. The Husband – perhaps resentfully – is also raising a strong-minded, independent-thinking, feminist. Lord love him.
This future husband is going to have to be a fully-committed feminist though. After My Girl shocked me with her biggest reason to not marry – she needs to continue the family name – she stumbled upon a solution.
Her husband is just going to take her last name.
While I mentioned something about hyphenating her name to include both (like I did at the beginning of our marriage when I was a published journalist), I’m not one to undermine any feminist thinking. So if she wants to find a man to take her last name, more power to you My Girl.
And that’s why I’m praying for him now.
Dear Jane’s Future Husband
I also pray for Jane and Little LuLu’s husbands, because I claim those girls as my own, and also because I worry about their future partners. Little LuLu will be a handful, I predict.
Jane on the other hand, though, has lower standards. One day while sitting at our kitchen table, she said randomly with distinct wistfulness in her voice:
“When I get married, I hope my husband’s family isn’t poachers.”
So, just to appease Jane, I’ll send that prayer up into the heavens too.