Thursday, January 19, 2012

Family XII: FarmHusband

FarmHusband is a builder of buildings, a rider of bicycles, and a maker of music. He sings and plays the guitar simultaneously, which I find amazing but which the humans tell me is more common than one might think. He is disproportionately strong and agile and can waltz about on narrow ridge beams at heights that would make FarmWife cry. Luckily, he's also very safety-minded and usually follows OSHA's recommendations to a T. He is smart, driven, and energetic . . . a wonderful counterpoint to FarmWife, who is smart and laid back and who might be slothful without encouragement.

FarmHusband is a talented grower of vegetables, and the things he tends generally grow to three or four times the size of the things FarmWife tends alone. This is because he is a man of determination and focus. When FarmHusband goes into the garden, he weeds until the weeding is done. When FarmWife goes into the garden, she weeds until she notices a pile of manure that could use scooping over in the mule shed or a rock there by the swingset that really could be relocated over near the greenhouse or a tool she left out a week earlier that ought to be put, if not away, then at least a bit closer to where it belongs. FarmHusband has none of these problems. He is a man who finishes a job once it's begun.

Yes, FarmHusband is a patient and nurturing gardener. I ought to mention that he excels even further as a patient and nurturing father. This is wonderful for my three human fillies, and also wonderful for FarmWife. She usually plays "bad cop" and sends them to their rooms for misbehavior. FarmHusband—good cop—follows up with a hug and a gentle inquiry. He is also the best in the family at planning ambitious adventures in the wilderness. This is very good, as we live in a place where wilderness ambition is rewarded with immense and breathtaking experiences. FarmHusband says I can come on a backpacking trip with them some weekend so long as I carry my own food. As of yet, Clover has been alone among the beasts of hoof and claw in going on these family outings. She comes home smelling of wild places.

FarmHusband is not generally a lover of dogs, but he loves Clover. He even lets her sleep in his bed, which is terribly exciting. I hope he will come to love me enough to let me sleep in his bed, too. FarmWife counsels me not to hold my breath. FarmHusband appreciates me, though, and understands the great crevasse between the world's trustworthy and untrustworthy mounts. He loves these things about me: that I am kind and patient, that I handle his precious children with tender care, that I eat rather little, and that I offer slow and steady rides to all mule-loving guests. He is the kind of man to say please and thank you, and to offer a pat when it's deserved, and to build a guy a great new barn when a barn is needed. What better kind of man is there?

FarmHusband put up an outside wall, a new ridgebeam, and nine rafters before the terrible winter storm descended upon us. When the snow melts, he'll put on a roof and help FarmWife with siding. He is able to help her help him build even though it doubtlessly slows him down, and to patiently guide her as she broadens her repertoire of building skills, and to help without judgement when she's at a loss as to what to do next or when she lacks the physical or emotional strength to drive nails while clinging to a ladder in a high-up place. She appreciates this about him, as do I, and she is going to make him nine cupcakes today. (One for each rafter, and hopefully a tenth for his mule.)

I have also overheard FarmWife referencing FarmHusband's "nice ass," by which she can surely only mean me, Fenway Bartholomule. It's so nice to be appreciated.


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