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Civic Engagement

Shortly after Caroline was born I started to hate Andy. I despised him and his lack of understanding me and how tired and overworked I was. The poor guy said little during this time and quietly rode the emotion rollercoaster in the same bucket as me, holding my hand as I'd cry and rant about one dramatic issue or another, always culminating in me deciding we needed to get a divorce.
A friend (ok, a therapist) recommended Andy andI take a quiz about aspects of our relationship. The quiz was fun and silly and reminded both of us that we really are in love and have a great deal in common. The last question asked us to list our top five priorities. One through four were all the same-family, health, financial stability and career. The fifth was different and telling about who we are. My fifth priority is time to myself. His is civic engagement.
Ah- civic engagement. How I love those whose life's work is to help others. While I tuck Caroline in at night and then eat a slice of pie while watching America's Next Top Model, Andy is off organizing those who make the world a better place.
He's on the planning committee, the executive committee and the committee on committees. He is a secretary, president, vice president, or treasurer of historical societies, park groups, alumni organizations, the local business groups, you name it. He does it all- with passion and a drive like I've never seen.
My favorite has to be the local fire company. They bailed 4 feet of water from our basement last year, several times, and saved us from a big mess. "This is how we repay them." He says upon joining the department. I ask why we can't just write them a check but it's not that simple. Now our house has hints of fireman all over from the Fireman's Quarterly Magazine and the annoying pager that informs us of all 80-year-old, fallen on stairs, conscious and breathing people in a 50-mile radius and my favorite, the turn-out-gear. The only time Andy has worn this ensemble, the boots, hat, pants with suspenders and jacket, is in the group photo. In this photo, Andy can be found in the back, smiling proudly. He must have gone to the photo shoot directly from work as it appears he has on a white button-up shirt with the suspenders, pants, hat and boots. He looks a little bit more like some wanna-be Chippendale dancer than a heroic fireman.
This gives me an idea! I'll add the gear to his closet of costumes. It will hang with pride beside his Eagle Scout uniform and Masconic belt as a potential "civic engagement" Halloween costume for next year.

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