My wife was recently made so happy by a loving gesture on my part that she wrote a whole blog post about it rather as if I had done something heroic. And what was this astonishing feat of husbandly self-sacrifice? Well, let’s just say that my wife is not exactly reluctant to think well of me… (Also, it was fascinating to me, having always thought of myself as disappointingly short compared to all my male relatives, to discover that my wife thinks of me as being a giant of a man — I have always felt temporarily like an outsized freak of nature every time I’ve been in South China but it had never occurred to me that my wife, being herself Han Chinese, might actually see me that way more or less permanently. Wow, I wonder how she will react when I finally get around to introducing her to my six-foot-seven cousin Joe???)
For those of you who can read Mandarin, her original is I’m certain much better than the translation that follows:
It seems like the third business trip this year, ai-ya! My poor husband, what with his Singapore and Australia projects, is overwhelmed with work. Even when he isn’t traveling, at home he frequently has to reverse sleeping hours because of the time difference with his work. I could hardly stand to watch, couldn’t bear to talk, but he kept up his usual smile. We take turns: I worry about his health, and he teases me.
The other evening, near midnight, I was about to go to bed. He was downstairs, bravely carrying on the fight, getting ready for all-night meetings with his colleagues in Singapore. I had almost finished showering and washing my face and brushing my teeth, when I heard a boom! boom! boom! as that venerable aged person raced up the stairs and came in the door in order to tell me, “I have a little bit of time to take a break, so I’ve come up to keep you company. Would you like me to read you a book? Or maybe tell you a joke? Or sing to you? Or, maybe, I could [in English] ‘stand on my head’ ?”!! (Literally, he was talking about doing a handstand!) That more than anything got my attention, that last suggestion sparked my interest – say what?? That tall burly man, with his (admittedly not very big) beer belly, would try such a thing, could still be able to do a handstand? (laughing) Instantly my face was covered in smiles: “That last one, okay, [in English] ‘go stand on your head!!’”
“I didn’t really expect you to choose that one,” he said; “I haven’t tried that in years!” But, being a Real Man who absolutely always keeps his word, he made several attempts, and with great difficulty he forced that gigantic body to perform a handstand in the corner. I was really worried that he might break his neck, as when he was upside down his head looked so tiny!
As his face turned bright red, I was already paralyzed with laughter, falling to the floor. My silly husband really is too, too, too adorable. After he stopped, very pleased with his own performance, he said, “Oh, well, at least I made you laugh; so that was a win. Get to sleep soon, okay, dear? Good night!”
I thank God for giving him such astonishing powers of endurance. His work, so many children, so much pressure – I often just have to admire how God creates people who have so much adaptability. In the midst of such a life, under such heavy burdens, he still sings little songs all day long, tells jokes, finds all kinds of ways to serve other people and make them happy. Here’s a vote of respect to you, my silly husband! – not because you always make me laugh, but because you help me see the goodness of God!
(grinning) Doesn’t seem like I have to do very much to make my wife happy…just stand on my head in the bedroom corner every now and then. What a demanding woman…