to a fault...
matthew is always considerate of other people. he thinks of others before himself every time. it is one of his greatest assets. it is one of things that made me fall in love with him. it is a value i hope he can teach our children, something they will learn easily from him. he is considerate of others almost to a fault.
he is so afraid of offending someone, or hurting someone, or doing something that causes difficulty to others, that sometimes he does not want to do what needs to be done, or what is best for us. if it could hurt or be bad for someone else, even if it is what is best for us, he does not want to do it. i realize this is a very admirable quality-- but seriously annoying for my much more selfish self.
when spring arrived in our new home, we noticed the overgrown bushes on our back line, were more than just a little overgrown. i kept telling matthew that i wanted to tear them down and plant lilacs along the fence. turns out, they were lilac bushes that were completely unrecognizable as lilac bushes. there was a grape vine growing among them, in between the branches. they bloomed for about 3 days. there were long wild branches sticking every which way without a single leaf. they were growing into our neighbors yard, and mingling with the neighbors trees. they needed to come down. at first i thought i could prune them. at a closer glance, i realized this would be a much bigger job.
yesterday after work, the weather was cooler and light. we took the borrowed chainsaw out to the back yard to start hacking at our wildly overgrown and neglected bushes. i started pulling at smaller branches, and he watched me as i did, pleading with me to not cut them all the way down. he was worried that the neighbor wouldn't like that we took down the bushes that gave them privacy from us. i rolled my eyes and said they were dying, and growing over their fence, and it would probably relieve them of a problem rather than create one. he wasn't buying it. he was so worried that we would offend the neighbors, or hurt them, or make it difficult for them; to the point that he wanted to leave our dying, much in need of help, lilac bushes... just in case. i had to get firm with him for him to take that first swipe at the bushes... "matthew, if they want privacy, they can plant something on their side of the fence, these are in our yard, it doesn't matter what they want, they are dying and need to come down." he looked at me like it would pain him greatly to swipe at those branches, and i looked right back at him like it would pain me if we did not cut them down. he started up the chainsaw and carefully began to cut down the overgrown dry and dying branches.
and i think the neighbors will be grateful that they do not have rotting and dying branches growing over their fence. and i will be grateful that i don't have to think about the dying bushes at the back of the yard.
that being said, as we started that little project... i began wishing we did not. those bushes were in much worse shape than i thought they were. i don't think we can save them, and i don't think we will be done working in that section of the yard for days and weeks and months to come.
perhaps matthew was on to something with his fear of offending someone else. or perhaps he isn't quite as concerned about others as we all think he is, and he just knows when things will be difficult for us and uses offending someone else as a much more noble excuse... perhaps... maybe... no that is more me than him. i am the selfish one, i am the absorbed one, i am the one who cares more about myself than anyone else.
there is not a selfish bone in his body. maybe one, but its deep deep down. he cares about others far more than himself. he would do nearly anything for anybody if he knew they really needed it. and when one of his greatest strengths turns into a fault... it is still a pretty great fault to have.
matthew is 3 times the person i will ever be. i can't wait to see him teach our son, and shape him into a caring and cautious man, just like him. i can't wait to see what matthew helps asher grow up to be. and i hope that someday, i can be more like him when i grow up. until i mature into that person, i can be recognized as the selfish one in our relationship, the one who takes little care for others feelings, and more of my own. and i will try not to allow matthews deep care for others annoy me in moments when it goes too far, in moments when it turns into a fault. because that is one of the greatest gifts one can have, one of the things that first drew me to him, one of the things that i love about him the most... and he certainly can look over my much less admirable faults, and love me just the same.