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The Good Wife’s Guide

As predicted, most of the male students in my writing class wrote about war experiences they had or heard about. One brave guy wrote about his boot camp team’s loss in a war games. His report started a whole discussion on how to call war preparation a “game.” I didn’t want to read my report out loud so when I turned it in, I placed a note on it requesting anonymity. My title was “Sealed with a Kiss” and featured ┬áSteve as a crusader for the rights of women who wanted to shovel snow without being directed by embarrassed men not to do so. Not a revolutionary fantasy but I was determined to keep the fiction as real as possible. I didn’t keep it so real to allow Steve to read it before turning it in though. I got an A and was pretty flattered by Lucy’s notes in the margins. I had started a file for my finished stories. I wanted to keep them for a review and as a collection of my work.

Junior had added Superman to his list of current fantasy heroes and wore a t-shirt with the big S logo every time it was clean. At dinner, I asked him what made a man super and Junior talked about Superman’s ability to fly and see through things and fool people in his disguise. When he was done listing Superman’s qualities, I asked my question differently by asking what made his daddy a super man. Both Daisy and Junior giggled. When Junior realized that Steve and I were just staring back at him and not laughing, he got quiet. Now we really had his attention.

Following a little stammering, Junior said that Steve had a regular job like Clark Kent and liked a lady who wrote stories at the newspaper who was always finding trouble. I wasn’t sure if the description of Lois was based on me so I lifted my eyes to give Junior a better look. I asked if Steve had any other traits that matched a super hero. Junior thought for a moment and said that Steve’s comings and goings were always special. I guess the real Superman flying in to admiration and leaving with a lot of attention caught Junior’s attention. Junior went on to explain that his daddy always made sure to stop and say good-bye to him every day with some special send off. When Steve returned after work there was always a conquering hero welcoming with hugs and kisses. Yes, Steve comings and goings were special. I tried hard not to compare mine since I was usually around more of the time and the children didn’t see me leave.

I knew that I could improve my comings and goings, starting with Steve. Sometimes, I don’t stop for that split second to appreciate him enough as he goes off to work or comes home. Tomorrow, as he heads out the door, I’ll be ready to give him a proper send off. Or at least one more memorable of the contribution he makes to our family finances. After that, I will start to take some extra time to focus on sending the kids off with more love and reminding them when they return home how valued they are. We could all use a little more of that.

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