Opinion | The Cookie And The Wife

Stroudsburg Herald

Princess tiara cookies. by CookingCinderella

By Robert Provitera

It was an unassuming school day when I picked my daughter up from the bus stop. She swooped into the car and said, "Dad. Lauren is having a sleepover tonight, and all the girls are going. "Don’t worry we are going to be doing homework together and getting to bed early.” Thankfully, before I began to align myself with her excitement, I recalled that morning’s conversation with my wife. After she got back from dropping off our daughter, she reminded me that we agreed that there would be no sleepovers on a school night.

Home is always the nest we retire to on a school night in this house. I still keep in touch with my school friends from college, high school, and even some from grade school, so I can appreciate those bonds we have created while we were younger. Although we may have gone in different directions, our shared age bracket puts us in the same place regarding our family cycle.

Most of us now live in households that were once furiously busy with schedules that revolved around our children's activities. There were: recitals, baseball games, football games, hockey, choir rehearsals, tournaments, dances, proms, school visits, and sleepovers. Many of these events dominated our days and nights, consuming much of our time. We knew these growing family members would eventually leave the nest. They grow their way off to colleges and jobs and hopefully well-rounded, healthy families of their own.

The task-oriented schedule-dependent lifestyles we were living on behalf of our children seemed as though it was the only thing that mattered. For some parents, its absence left a gaping hole. The house seems empty when the focus of their years is not ours but their own to dive into college life and the pursuit of a career or the process of building a new family. Couples wake up one day and say, thanks, you were a great father or a great mother, but now who are you? That is a tragic outcome, but far too often, it is a reality. Other couples readapt successfully, and many live somewhere between the two.

Recently, I flashed back to when my daughter lovingly looked me in the eye and asked if she could have a cookie just before dinner and how my wife lovingly spent that day preparing a nutritious meal for us. How could those simple family interactions be so powerfully etched in my mind?

The bus stop and the cookie have become carving tools that have chiseled away at the order of priorities I was inclined to follow.

The misaligned honor system I inherited from my parents, the same upside-down "children first” order that has left some of my friends unprepared for the joy of spousing together.

These two seemingly innocent moments in our family history are symbolic of the quiet struggle that goes through a husband's mind when he is tempted to honor his little princess over his queen. I confess that my wife was the sculptor who helped me to become the family man that finds his nest still full enough for love in the absence of our children. She reminds me that the children would not even physically be present without the wife. How often did I miss that science? I am still not fully sculpted, but thankfully, I can enjoy precious time spent alone with my wife. I am looking less like the unchiseled boy I might have remained to be without my family, more like the man who shows his daughter that when she has a husband, he will put her first, the way her father did with her mother. With her wedding just around the corner, she can rightfully graduate from princess hood to honorable queen at the appropriate time.

Both my wife and my daughter will gladly attest to the times I disordered the nest and went for the cookie, but I am confident that without the guidance of my wife and my faith, I could have ended up a diabetic cookie monster in a lonely nest. Like a bus full of life’s students, let's keep this family rolling in the right direction. I can’t wait to pick my grandchildren up from the bus stop and help drive them to discover the right time for cookies.

Comments / 3

Published by

Local news, events, food, festivals, concerts, arts and community

Stroudsburg, PA

More from Stroudsburg Herald

Comments / 0