I tend to be one of those people who is far better at writing the way I feel than talking about the way I feel. When I talk, I’m a rambler. I figure if I say enough words, the right and true ones have to come out of me eventually.

The problem is, the people listening to me get bored, or lose interest because it takes me 10 minutes to answer the question, “What did you think of that article?” or some similar question.

But one place where I could go on for hours upon hours and not even care about who I am boring is when talking about my amazing wife. So with your permission, in this Mother’s Day season, I’d like to spend a few minutes talking up the best person I know.

Rachel and I were married young. We were 23 and 22, respectively. We were fresh out of college, and like any two young, in-love idiots, we got married, moved to Portland, and started our lives together.

For as long as I’ve known Rachel, all she wanted to be was a mother. Not in a “well I guess I’ll be a mom because I’m not good at anything else” mentality, but a “since I was a child, this has been my burning desire.”

When our first daughter was born in 2009, I was working at one of many dead-end jobs I’ve worked since we got married. My employment history is, how should we say, eclectic. I got a degree in English, but did not pursue a Master’s degree, so I am fully qualified to do almost nothing.

We knew early on in her pregnancy that she was going to have to return to work after having our daughter. It killed me, and I was actively searching for any and every job that would allow us to live on one income (which in suburban Portland, is no small feat.)

I wish I could say that I found the perfect one, and that the stars aligned and everything worked out, but that is almost never the case in anybody's life, much less ours.

No, Rachel worked full time from the birth of our first daughter in 2009, until just before the birth of our third daughter in 2016. And she was a fantastic mom the entire time. She spent 9 hours a day taking care of other people’s kids, and yet somehow had the energy to come home and spend time with her own.

Bath time routine

But once I finally landed a career-track job, and she was able to quit and stay home, something changed.

And it changed for the better.

I saw my wife come alive in her role as a stay-at-home mother in a way that I never had before. It was as if for nearly 7 years, she had been going through life wearing a suit of armor, and then all of a sudden, she was able to wrestle out of that suit and leave it behind.

She is doing the thing in the world that she is best at. She’s raising our daughters to be kind, compassionate, fierce, loving, self-sufficient little humans. She’s there for the field trips, the talent shows, the dentist appointments, and the play dates, and that, for us, is worth more than any paycheck.

So here’s to Rachel. Without her, we would fall apart. She’s the rock that props our family up when times get hard. She’s the loving arms we run to when things go wrong. She’s the shoulder to cry on, and the friend to laugh with.

I cannot fathom my life, or my daughters’ lives without her, and if I’m lucky, I’ll never have to.

Mother's Day chart

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