You are a really good sport. You endure embarrassing anecdotes on my Facebook page and ribbing on my blog and even humored me by writing a couple of What We Ate Wednesday posts. In fact, you’re such a good sport that I’m not even vetting this post with you before I hit “publish”. After 15 years of marriage, surprises are a good thing. I hope.
You’re not on Instagram (another reason I love you). But if you were, you would’ve seen my recent post about you. It was a photo of your dinner one night: a big helping of brown rice, tofu, and a whole bunch of veggies. You even had seconds. Here’s what I wrote about it:
My husband’s dinner last night. He didn’t eat a single vegetable (except potatoes) when we started dating 20-some years ago. Not a single one! Besides my kids, this is perhaps my greatest accomplishment in life.
Early in our relationship, I somehow convinced you to try salad. The first salads I made for you consisted of a single lettuce leaf in a tiny bowl, covered in croutons and swimming in balsamic vinaigrette. You begrudgingly took a bite–and over the course of a year, eventually graduated to a full-sized salad bowl. I remember the first time you ordered salad in a restaurant without any coercion from me. You looked at me with a smile that said “See how far I’ve come?”
I joke that getting you to eat (and even like) salad is one of my proudest achievements. But what I’m really proud about is having a husband who learned to like vegetables for the sake of his kids.
When you became a dad, you stepped up your vegetable game. Big time. You knew that if the kids were going to eat and like vegetables, they had to see us both eating them. Or maybe I told you that. Either way, you did it.
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Shredded carrots on your salad and chopped peppers in your chili was easy, but you also tackled stuff you nver would’ve dreamed about touching as a kid, like asparagus and Brussels sprouts. You’ll even take a few bites of total veggie fails, like the cauliflower mashed potatoes I made that even I didn’t want to eat. Broccoli remains the final frontier, but I get it: Most everyone has a food they downright detest. (Don’t be fooled, I’m going to keep trying.)
Sometimes when it’s a vegetable you really don’t like, you eat it first from your plate. I know that’s code for “I’m getting this out of the way”, but the kids only see you eating your vegetables. And I know you so well that I recognize a certain style of chewing you employ when you’re just trying to get something down. It’s too subtle for the kids to notice. They only see you eating your vegetables.
They also hear you thanking me for making dinner because you do that every single night. Then they see you washing the dinner dishes.
So thank you for stepping out of your comfort zone (and in the case of those cauliflower mashed potatoes, way out)–not just because you know it’s important to me, but because you know that it’s important for them.
We all love you for it.