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Man at Work

March 14th, 2004 · 1 Comment

I like to watch Ted work. There’s something about the way he focuses on the task. I like to see him solve problems. I like how he uses whatever he has to get the job done. And I’m not the only one who likes to watch him.

If Ted were a construction worker, the girls and I could go watch him build buildings. Or if he were a musician, we could go hear him play compositions. If he were a surgeon, perhaps we could watch him perform operations.

But instead, Ted is a software developer. He sits in his office, one room away, and works on his computers. Even if he’s had a stressful day, an intense day or a productive day at work, to the girls – and even to me – it mostly looks the same. Whatever he accomplishes, we can’t appreciate well or even notice. It’s not something we can touch or feel or hear. At least not most of the time.

So when Ted works on little projects around the house, I enjoy it. Not because I can cross stuff off my “honey-do” list (I don’t think I even have one of those) but because I can watch him in action. I can see how he is when he works.

Yesterday morning, we worked together on a little project to take down our mailbox stand. When we first moved into the neighborhood, the mail was delivered to each door and papers were put into the boxes on the stand. But now neither the post office nor the paper deliverers are using it. So we decided to take it down.

This involved figuring out how it was built so we could dismantle it. It involved removing dirt from the planter at the base, and then removing the large rocks so that the post could be pulled out of the box. Ted got two trowels and we sat on the driveway together and shoveled the dirt into the garden. He would prod the rocks loose with his trowel and I’d reach down with my hand into the dirt, pulling out the stones, round and large like potatoes.

Abigail and Michaela wanted to help. They got out their own trowels, of pink and yellow plastic, and shoveled what we missed. Elisabeth played with a pebble, rolling it down the driveway.

Then Ted got out screwdrivers and a hammer to take the post and mailbox base apart. I liked watching Ted with his tools. The way he held the hammer. The way he dissected the pieces apart with his screwdrivers. The careful look he gives to his work. How he’s dissatisfied with what’s less than best.

I’m happy to do projects on my own. I like the challenge. And I’ve done some by myself. But there’s something to me about watching my husband at work. I like it. I get attracted to him all over again. I realize how I love him: I see another aspect of my passion for him.

Later in the afternoon, Ted mowed the lawn. The girls begged to be outside so they could watch him. They stood on the porch eating a snack, jumping with excitement, as Ted pushed the mower back and forth across the grass. We don’t have TV, but there’s always Daddy. I’m glad they like to watch him work too.

Tags: marriage

1 response so far ↓

  • 1 Katherine // Mar 15, 2004 at 2:10 pm

    Big smiles. I love to watch my husband work too. Mostly he has “invisible” work like Ted, but it’s very fun when I get the privilege of seeing him speak at a conference. I sit in the audience and think, “That’s my husband up there! I’m the one who loves him the most!” And I grin with joy.