But indeed, she does work very hard and do a lot more than a lot of wives because she enables me to do things other people take for granted, and by doing so gives me a freedom I wouldn't otherwise have. You'll have to excuse me if I spare you the gory details.
Some things have always been the same. I'm not allowed near the washing machine for instance. That's her domain, and ye small gods help anyone who tries to get anywhere near it. There's a lot of stuff I can do around the house, and the family like to be around when I do them.
I often think it's more their worrying than anything I might do, like insisting on being there when I eat, but I appreciate the concern, and sometimes it is justified. But you can't live life worrying something is going to go wrong, can you? It's just plain impractical.
Sure I have some limitations, and sometimes more than other times. But like any other family, through long practice and gentle and often unspoken negotiation the gears of family life are well oiled and run smoothly. It just works.
I suppose by 'modern' ways at looking at things we seem a bit strange and unexpected. People often mistakenly believe that because Bear has a very strong caring role, she is the one to deal with.
So they're often surprised when she defers everything to me.
However we follow a long family tradition of the man of the house being head of the household, and that I carry the ultimate responsibility.
If I had to define it, it's an old christian tradition called 'covering' that's worked very well for us and kept our family strong for 26 years. Is my Bear overworked, 'put on', subservient or a Cinderella? Heck no. Far from it.
It frees Bear to be who she wants to be, and do what she needs to do. Does it always run smoothly? Nope :)
"The Hairy One" I overheard her say in the kitchen t'other day to a mate "....is stubborn, pig headed, impossible, and a total pain in the arse". That'll be be me then :)
" Love's patient, love's kind. It doesn't envy, it doesn't boast, it's not proud. It doesn't dishonour others, it's not self-seeking, it's not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love doesn't delight in hatred but rejoices in the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, and always, always perseveres."
1 Corinthians 13:4-7