By Sally Hanan
My husband is so cute when he's asleep. I prop myself up on an elbow and reach out one finger to trace the line of his eyebrow. It lifts slightly, and in his state of semi-consciousness he turns over, throws his arm around my waist and snuggles up against me. His loving, grunting noises continue as he tucks his face into the nook between my chin and shoulder; his face seeking out my neck like a pig sniffing for truffles around a tree in Provence.
How I love this man.
Ten minutes later his rooster alarm clock cock-a-doodle-doos him to alertness. As he sleepily makes his way into the bathroom I watch him in the mirror. He stands in front of it and adopts his classic sideways 'let's see what kind of a man I look like today' pose. He pats his protruding, middle-aging belly with maternal fondness and then leans his head forward to see if he has lost more hair follicles overnight. His hand reaches up to ruffle what's left, secretly hoping that doing so will make more magically appear.
His head sticks out of the doorway to ask me if I'd like to use the bathroom first. I know what that means. I smile and shake my head.
He makes sure to find me before he leaves for work. The warmth of his kiss and the smell of his shampoo linger with me as I drift back into reverie, my head sinking into the quicksand softness of my pillow. His yummyness deserves a five start restaurant review.
"I love you," I mumble.
"You make it sound like an old lady who loves her morning cup of tea."
The door shuts and I think about his words. Yes, his presence in my heart is just like that--warm, thirst quenching, refreshing to the palate.
I pick up the phone and quick-dial his cell phone.
"I love you like a Pamplona bull."
I can hear him smile on the end of the line. That analogy warms his heart far more than his cup of tea analogy.
This man, this being created in God's own image, is not my everything, my all in all; he's not even my reason for living. God owns that place in my heart, but I thank God frequently for the precious gift He has given me.
Blessed am I among women.
SALLY HANAN is an Irish writer who now lives in the U.S. with her family. Her husband calls her beautiful, talented and brilliant. According to Sally, he is a marvelous truth-teller. If you would like to write to Sally, you can do so through the Letters page of this magazine.