The other day I was looking through photos from a hike my husband and I did two years ago.
We trekked across the spine of the Ko‘olau Mountains that connects Moanalua Valley to the top of Hāʻiku Stairs. It took us seven long, sweaty hours, and there were moments — oh, I remember them in detail — when I wanted to give up, call 911 and get rescued off the ridge.
But my husband, who spends most of his spare time either in the mountains or underwater, simply kept going, stopping to listen to my whining and reassuring me that we weren’t going to die. At least not today.
This is just one reason why I adore my husband. From the day I met him — three and a half years ago, at 5 a.m., at the beach in Waikīkī — he’s always been supportive, always encouraging me to do whatever I want, but making sure I’m OK, too. He has more faith in me — like, to finish the hike — than I do, and that’s exactly what anyone should have in a partner.
Six months ago, I remember sitting on the bathroom floor, frustrated and feeling like a complete failure at this whole mom thing. I wasn’t sleeping, my milk supply was pathetic, and I felt like I’d never be a normal human again.
My husband joined me on the floor and, without judgement, said, “It’s going to be OK. You’re doing a great job.”
Of course, I didn’t believe him at first. I felt like I was actually doing a horrible job. But his kind, supportive words were enough to get me up from the cold floor and trudge back to the living room where I had another 20 minutes of painful pumping to do.
Oh, I complained about it. I whined and cried. But, in reflection, he was right, at least about the first part. It turned out to be OK. We’re OK. The baby is alive and thriving. I’m alive, our dogs are alive. We did it — just like he said we would.
People often ask me what it was about my husband that led me to marry him after knowing him for just six months. And I’ve often answered that it was a combination of things: He’s really smart, responsible, funny, generous. (He’s also cute, and that helps.) But it really came down to one thing — his kindness. Even when he’s angry or irritated or frustrated or tired. In the end, he doesn’t want to hurt anyone or anything (with the exception of rats). He apologizes, he explains, he tries hard. His kind heart is what did it for me.
Our marriage is very much like that trail. It’s tough and challenging but beautiful and rewarding, too. And I’m lucky to have a partner who will stick by my side, put up with my whining, and help me along the way.
Happy Anniversary, Kai!