The girls got to take their time with their Easter baskets. They made resurrection rolls.
And then our plan was to make these cute little things to take to the grandparents' house for lunch.
Derek was standing in the kitchen when I realized my mistake, when I whispered "Uh oh", and when the thought of someone (um...him) going out to purchase some crossed my mind.
I made eye contact with him and gave him the "look".
The silent, but weighted, look which said, "So...any chance you'd maybe, possibly throw on some clothes, get in your truck, drive to Wal-Mart on Easter morning to pick up white (has to be white, because well...sheep are white) cupcake liners even though I've already made about ten trips to the store this week but still forgot to get cupcake liners and since it would take me about ten times as long as you to get dressed and since I really need to stay here to prepare the cupcake mix and since you are such a wonderful husband...and dad...please..."
He saw the look. He interpreted the look. And responded,
"You know I really love you..."
Then he was off. Half an hour later, he returned with exactly what our soon-to-be flock of sheep needed.
But it was while he was gone that I thought about the interaction we'd had that morning. And how it could have gone very differently.
He could have completely rejected my non-verbal suggestion.
He could have gotten frustrated with me for being forgetful, for not having my ducks...er...sheep in a row.
He could have said, "No way. I've been going all week and I don't want to go anywhere this morning."
He could have said, "You go. This is your deal. You forgot. You go get what you need."
He could have gotten angry with me for even suggesting he be the one to go to the store.
But he didn't.
Which is exactly why my eyes leaked a few tears that morning.
And also why, when he left, I thought, "I know exactly who I want my girls to marry."
A man very much like their dad.
The same man who didn't respond in anger when I hit the side of the car while I was pulling it into our garage...twice.
Or when I backed that same car into a friend's car on New Year's Eve over seven years ago, days before leaving for a vacation to Disney World.
Or when I overspend on groceries.
Or when I accidentally spilled bleach on his most favorite Gap khaki shorts.
A man who is not easily angered.
A patient man who calms a quarrel versus a hot-tempered one who stirs up dissension.
A man who does not give full vent to his anger like a fool.
A man led by the Spirit, not hot-headed and reckless with his words or actions.
A man who is slow to anger, abounding in love.
Not a doormat or a pushover. But a man who knows when and where to express anger, and in the right way.
Those who know Derek may say he was born with this personality. Lack of Italian or Irish blood makes for a calmer demeanor. Maybe.
But in the sixteen years we've been married, of course, I've seen my husband frustrated.
I've seen him angry. At idiocracy. At ignorance. And most certainly at injustices.
But I've also seen him restrain his anger. I've seen him purposely walk away, choosing not to react by blowing a gasket, but instead, responding with grace.
I've learned so much being the recipient of that grace, by watching him, living with him.
And that's what I want for my girls. It's what I pray for my girls.
I want Grace and Gloria to hand over their hearts to trustworthy men. Men who love their God and love them intensely. Not men who'll trample them in easily-angered, easily-offended, or easily frustrated moments of foolish rage in this age of rage, when it seems many are angry about something, or everything.
I want them to be connected forever to a man like their father. A man who is connected forever to his Heavenly Father.
Connected to a God who does not treat us as our sins deserve. A God who responds to our shortcomings, our mistakes, our human frailties with the same words Derek spoke to me on Easter morning,
"You know I love you..."
A God who is slow to anger, abounding in love.