Sunday, July 28, 2013

How Do I Love Thee?

Ryan and I have been married for almost 12 years now. In that time, we've learned several new things about each other. One unexpected surprise is that he's great with kids. I got little hints of that at 20 and 21, but I'm a teacher and "good with kids" has a whole set of expectations in my book. I wouldn't have married him if I didn't think he had potential to be a good dad, but I wasn't expecting him to make Fruit Loop necklaces or dance the hokey pokey or anything. Little did I know...

First, I learned that he really has a way with the teenagers that he teaches, coaches, and mentors as a youth leader. Then, I was blessed to find out that he's an excellent Daddy to our little guys - from baby talk to wrestling.  And when he started coaching T-ball a few years ago, I learned that he was good with other people's little kids, too. But those situations involve either teenagers (his natural gift), his own flesh and blood, or competitive sports. 

Vacation Bible School game center does not involve any of those (well, part-time flesh and blood aside). So when I begged ordered asked him to run the games for our church VBS, I knew I was asking him to do something a little out of his element. He would have crying one year olds all the way up to awkward middle schoolers. The games would be cheesy and nonathletic. And I wanted him to go by the name Sir Ryan and try to stay in the spirit of our medieval theme, maybe even wear a silly hat. He agreed, and I assured him I would plan and prep everything. I shouldn't have bothered. On the first night, I went over the games with him, including clever little things he could call stuff (Capture the Cannonballs, not flag - cheesy, teacher stuff like that). I was taking pictures while he went over the directions with the first group. He was describing "Jump the Moat" in an animated voice (the voice, alone, was shocking). Then, he threw in a new reference to alligators that I hadn't even coached him on. He was gonna be just fine. And he was. In fact, he was amazing. From the preteen "Knights" who liked a little rough housing down to the "Town Criers" who just wanted to be distracted from the fact that Mommy wasn't there, he knew just how to play with each group of kids. Each night, I was more and more in love with this man. I mean, look at this:

To a girl, who in college fantasized about a guy "in boxer shorts, holding a baby," it doesn't get much hotter than that. (Cuz all these pictures woulda been weird in boxers). 

VBS was every evening. Also that week, we went to check out a camp that Reed will go to next year. We wanted to see what it was all about, so a friend who is a dorm mom invited us up during afternoon free time. We spent our entire time there going up and down the 100 foot, downhill slip and slide. I regret that I don't have any pictures, but it was awesome! After a few runs down the slide with Max on his lap, Ryan handed him off to me. That's when the 5th and 6th grade campers started taking over my man. He was racing a different kid each run. And when we headed back to the car, we talked about being dorm mom and dad in the future. Ryan said, "Your job is basically to play with kids for a week, so it would be awesome." Sigh.

Oh, and remember when I said it doesn't get hotter?

I lied. 

(Coincidentally, I also lied when I said I don't want to "try one more time for a girl.")

P.S. Just kidding, Mom.


Sharon Simmers said...

Methinks thou aren't kidding my lady!! :) Your man is pretty cool!

Tobi said...