Last night at 8pm, I was laying on our bed, between the white sheets - nursing the baby.
Tim had just said evening prayers and tucked in the three older girls. "Check on me in three minutes," they chirped down the hall to him. "I will," he answered.
A few moments later, I heard the tnk-tnk of forks hitting glass as Tim washed the dinner plates. He would probably scrub the cast iron pan next, which he used to grill up our dinner - a hearty salad, topped with tilapia, feta cheese, and homegrown tomatoes.
Apparently, there is a tradition in China called "sitting the month" (zuo yuezi) wherein women who have given birth spend almost all of their time resting.
Thanks to Tim, I've had my own zuo yuezi since giving birth five and a half weeks ago. I'm not exactly sitting around in bed all day (that would drive me crazy - I'm not even the napping type), but he has created space for me to rest and to write and to rock the baby. He mops the floors, tosses the pizza dough, unloads and loads the dishwasher a thousand times.
When you are in your early 20's, no one tells you that what you should be looking for in a husband is not sophistication or smarts. Nor is it handsomeness or humor or a hefty wallet. Those things are all good and fine. But what truly makes a marriage stand out is the selflessness - the daily giving to the other.
I have always been grateful for Tim's work ethic. Even in our teens, I have memories of him with dish rags and hammers, spatulas and power tools.
With the recent birth of our fourth baby, however, I am filled with a profound and deep sense of gratitude every morning when I wake up and look to the other side of the bed.