(an old one from the book, “Radiant Beams”)
There’s velvet in my voice when I put Maddy to sleep. We cuddle “doing story.” She gets cozy as I softly drop to my knees bedside. We say a prayer. I tell her a quiet story about her Care Bears or a brave little mouse or kitten.
Then I sing her a song. It has HAD to be “Silent Night” since Christmas, but for variety, I’ve been trying those same lyrics to the melodies of “Tiptoe Through the Tulips” and “April Showers.” She protests, smiling sleepily. I sing “Silent Night” the right way.
We hug. I tuck her in, kissing her rosebud mouth and soft cheeks. “Sleep tight! Don’t let the bedbugs bite!” She watches me silently back out of the room, blowing kisses. Her eyelids flutter closed. She says drowsily, “Tell Daddy to come.”
I congratulate myself on my skillful mothering, TLC and well-honed nurturance, pass my husband in the hall coming as I am going, and then . . . BOOM!!!!!
IT’S TIME FOR DADDY GAMES!!!!!
SHOUTS AND SHRIEKS ERUPT FROM THE ONCE- TRANQUIL BEDROOM!!!!!
EYES THAT WERE DROWSY ARE BUGGED WIDE OPEN AGAIN!
ADRENALIN LEVELS ARE SKY-HIGH!
A HEART RATE THAT WAS AT REST IS NOW IN ABJECT HYSTERIA!!!!!
They do Tickle Monster. They do Ceiling Walk. They do The Up Game. They do Pillow Ride. They do Shoulder Ride. They do Get Your Neck. They do Timber!!!!!
They do Head in Bed, making Maddy into a cross between a human tamale and a giggling mini-mummy. They do Hot Dog, with lots of imaginary ketchup and mustard. They do Tick Tock, featuring an upside-down, laughing human pendulum.
So much for my soothing bedtime routine. It takes another half-hour to settle her back down after Daddy Games.
The female brain just does not conceive games like these. I whined about it to friends the other night, hoping for sympathy about this rowdy wildhair mayhem instigator I married. But noooooo. The OTHER husbands ALSO do Daddy Games, and the other WIVES don’t get it, either.
They do Bucky the Wild Squirrel. They do Horsie the Buckin’ Bronco. They do Coldy Roldy, tickling the lower legs ‘til the kid gets the shivers. They do The Chase Game. They do Boogie Man. They do Monster. They do Couch Potato: the dad pretends to be asleep, kids walk by in faux nonchalance, and he JUMPS UP AND GRABS THEM!!!
They do Roly Poly: giant group hug off the bed onto the floor.
They do Tornado: everybody gets under the covers and starts whipping them around and up and down until the kids are hyperventilating, the sheets are ripped, or both.
It takes THEM a while to get THEIR kids settled back down, too.
We wives don’t understand this. But you know what? Vive le difference. This is how it’s supposed to be. This is legitimate “diversity.” Men show love to children differently than women do. Both are creative. Both are good.
That’s why I don’t buy same-sex “marriage.” It rips off kids. They miss out on half of what they need to be whole persons. Their parenting is all male style, or all female style. We all know 50% is an F. Halfway is never good enough. Kids in those settings are getting distortions of the other sex role, or at best a pale imitation.
There are a lot of legal, political, financial and religious reasons to oppose same-sex households, too. But what cinches it for me is that they deny kids what they need most – the complementarity of having BOTH a mom and a dad — distinctly different, and delightfully so. There’s a reason we were made this way. An important reason.
How do you understand what a mountain is, if you’ve never seen a valley?
What good is music all in the treble clef, but no bass?
How do you define sweet if you’ve never tasted sour?
Maleness and femininity are both good, just different. And you can’t fully experience one without the other. That precious, consistent complementarity of true marriage — one man, one woman — is the only way to model how to be and how to love, to make the next generation of people complete.
Preserving marriage really is a matter of life and death, for our society.
Let’s don’t play games with it. OK?
Or Bucky the Wild Squirrel will make you a Head in Bed and Get Your Neck! †
And He answered and said unto them,
Have ye not read, that He which made them at the beginning
made them male and female. . . .
— Matthew 19:4
By Susan Darst Williams • 6/20/2020 • www.RadiantBeams.org • © 2020