Winter was the hardest on her. The dark, cold mornings, the dark, cold afternoons. And we had just added two more babies to our not-so-little family. I never in my wildest dreams imagined I would be a dad to four kids. That wasn’t the plan. We wanted two. But then we thought just one more. And the fourth arrived alongside that third. Twins. It was Lex that did it all. Kept us all alive. Kept us all motivated. She was the star. She was the workhorse.
With a husband that worked in London all week and barely got to kiss her goodnight by the time one foot was in the door…well, I wouldn’t have blamed her if she wanted me to give up my job. But she never asked. She never hinted. She had my dinner on the table when I got home. Every day. Often, in an evening, while I was elbow-deep in suds, my eldest would tiptoe down the creaky wooden stairs and tap me on the back. ‘Dad, do you want to chat?’ she would ask. ‘Always.’ I’d smile, strangling that week-day yawn.
With all the four children sleeping soundly, I’d find Lex snoring her head off, the same book by her lamp because she never got the time or energy to read, and the kids’ drawings strewn about by her phone. Burying into the warm bed beside her was a treat. I was always sad to have missed that cheerful face of hers, and I always strived to get home just that bit earlier, but I never could. I was one lucky man. To have a wife who put me first. Love in action.