My husband has this way of demonstrating an added level of adamant subtlety to his requests through a steady and confident stare.
I actually get “the look” from him a lot these days.
My husband Marc feels that I create my own misery and he attempts to try to help me avoid that. The thing is, I am not miserable. I am just ridiculously busy juggling the requests and needs of four mini Holloways. I know I tend to go off the deep end. I admit I can overreact, think of all the worst case scenarios I can come up with and waste my time trying to prepare for them—but it is what I do as a mom. I can’t help it. It is how I am genetically hardwired.
So, in Marc’s defense, the look usually comes after Marc wants to “hit home” a helpful point—knowing full well that it will probably involve telling me something in a way that (at first) will upset me and make me defensive.
This time was no different. And his look came after I announced the loss of my oldest child, Lily’s second pet hamster. The kiddos all entered the kitchen with saddened faces. There was some whimpering and hugs of camaraderie. The gathering was like that of which you see at a “wake” when a family comes to view the deceased loved one before the funeral. The children each peered into the hamster’s cage, frowned, and kissed Lil on the cheek. I could almost hear my youngest child whisper, “So sorry for your loss.”
It is always sad to lose a pet when you are a child, even if the pet was a grumpy hamster that spent only three weeks living with you.
The group of kiddos decided that even though this hamster could never measure up to our very first hamster “Ollie,” he deserved a proper burial ceremony and not just simply be disposed of. I agreed with the kids, but I am pretty sure that my husband did not.
After we said our goodbyes to the oreo-striped colored rodent, Lily slumped her shoulders and leaned into her father. She promptly sighed and told him she was never going to get another hamster because they have little hearts and cannot live very long. It was just too sad to have to keep watching them die. She told her father that she would like to get a bunny rabbit the next time.
That is when I got the look.
As if I had put Lily up to this …
Marc rubbed his head with his hand as our daughter left the room. He stepped forward leaning toward me and authoritatively said, “No more of these … stupid … little animals. No more stuff like this!” (I’m changing his wording a bit to protect the innocent here.)
He stood back to flash his potent blue eyes at me to make sure I heard him and squared off his shoulders—bracing himself for my reaction.
I stepped forward toward him. I was ready to give him my two cents on the subject but I could do nothing but giggle at his expression. I told him that childhood is all about stupid little animals and stuff like this!
Then I watched as his face transformed and he shook his head and smiled at me with a small reluctant grin.
Then it happened.
He gave me my favorite look. The look that only one person in my life has ever given me. The look that says, “You are right—but I will never admit it!” The look that says, “You are insane but I love you like crazy anyways.”
A silent and kind confirmation that I am doing a good job—that he thinks that I am a good mom.
I needed that. Sometimes you just do.
He knows me so well …
I love him—and his good looks.