Taking Stock, Giving Thanks, And Making A Change

10527408_10206691255335008_6119882447299885275_nTonight my mom had an early Thanksgiving.  After the meal we sat down and, as is tradition with my sappy mom, everyone went around and shared something they were thankful for. I wasn’t ready then and I took a pass, but I think I know what I want to say now.


I have so many things to be thankful for. I have a beautiful and loving wife, two wonderful kids who fill my life with alternating joy and exhaustion, an expansive new home to grow into, a rewarding career and a cute dog. I have what everyone wants and many are not fortunate enough to have: a safe, happy, healthy home.


But what I am truly thankful for tonight is my wife, Katie.



When I get overwhelmed I just hide behind the baby gate and leave crackers for them to find.
When I get overwhelmed I just hide behind the baby gate and leave crackers for them to find.
You see, I get a lot of praise for what I do. Customers and coworkers, family members, Facebook friends are all at the ready to let me know when I have helped them or impressed them or made them laugh. It’s immensely rewarding to hear it, and at times I find myself even seeking out that praise, to a fault.



But I can’t do ANY of it without her.


If you think I am being hyperbolic, you don’t know what my life was like after college. There are all of these things I am terrible at, and she does them for us. Bills, budgeting, remembering to buy toothpaste, cleaning, and of course, caring for our two sons every day.


I am thankful that I don’t have her job. I’m not sure that I could do it. I KNOW that I couldn’t do it as well.


And none of that stuff is particularly interesting. None of it is lauded or praised the way a novel solution at work is, or whipping up something new in the kitchen, or sharing pictures of an interesting craft project. None of it gets liked or shared. Being a good mom – a great mom – is just what everyone expects from her.


So I am thankful for Katie. Some days I forget it, lost in the myriad frustrations of life, but that never deters her from taking care of us.

And I don’t think it’s enough to simply say thank you. I don’t think its sufficient to give her some sort of sitcom mother’s day present – briefly acknowledging her before we all go back to normal.

I refuse to be the bumbling, stereotypical sitcom dad.



I need her. But I’m not helpless. I’m not stupid. I need to do better at helping provide the things she needs. The same kinds of things all of us need – rest, praise, fulfillment, attention, love.


Sweetie, I want for you to know that I appreciate you – on more than just Thanksgiving, and I will strive to become a better, more worthy partner for you.


I am thankful that I have that chance.

Erich Bacher

Erich Bacher is a father of two boys and an IT professional. He owns copies of Transformers: The Movie (1986) on DVD and VHS, frequently misspells certain words, and has an extensive collection of ideas.

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