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If My Wife Were a Crouton

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How would I love her? Wouldn't be easy. But I have to find a way. Whether she's floating in soup, on top of a salad or sitting in a bag, unused, I would need to honor my "crouton wife."

So, if my wife were a crouton:

I'd watch her like a prize I cherish most. Floating in the soup of life, gliding across noodles, steam rising slowly around her, I would waft away the enveloping fog with careful, brisk waves of my bare hands, revealing her tiny, square body over the ocean-like currents. I would keep my eye on my girl, and try not to lose her in all the slop, while she tackles tsunami like waves of chicken broth, carrots and celery.

I'd be her biggest cheerleader. I'd shout for all I'm worth to keep her inspired. "Dodge the chicken chunks baby." "Don't give up -- you can do it." "Hang in there -- swim your heart out." Watching her spin around and around, over her head in broth, I'd encourage her to stay afloat and keep a steady eye on the shore ahead. "Paddle sweetie -- paddle your heart out." "No one swims like you do." "No one." I'd be her biggest cheerleader.

I'd send her notes of encouragement, on scraps of paper holding notes from my heart. "I love you." "Never want to lose you." "You're my soul mate, even if you have turned into a square chunk of hardened bread." Square or not, I'd love her frame and treat her as the beauty she is. I'd tell her nothing compares to her, not the tomatoes in the salad, the green spinach or lettuce she garnishes, not the gorgeous bowl she sits in -- her home for the day.

I'd rescue her at every turn. Whether stabbing forks, soup spoons or just someone's bare fingers, I'd fight to keep her alive. From the pressures of being eaten up, of drowning in the depths below where darkness dwells and light finds no home. From the overwhelms we sink into as we garnish the bitter elements of life, the forks in the road we never anticipated, the negative comments from uncaring hearts that don't like croutons getting the attention. I'd jump on my white horse and sustain her with words, any joy I could muster and my belief that of all the croutons I have ever seen, she stands tall among them.

As you may guess, my wife isn't a crouton. Doesn't look like a small piece of toast, thank goodness, and never sat on top of a salad or floated aimlessly in a bowl of hot soup.

But my how she needs me. Just as I need her.

Needs me to value her in the deepest parts of her spirit and soul. To remind her that she, and she alone, means the world to me.

Needs me to cheer her on. In the dreary and scary moments of life, we all need someone to believe in us. To root for us as we face the gauntlet of uncertainties that fall in our path ahead. A voice outside ours that says, "You rock -- really rock baby." "No one does it like you."

Discouragement can seep into the bones like the dew on the ground and leave us depleted and tired. We all need support, pillars that keep the house standing in the hail storms of life when the sky grows dark with terror or disappointment.

Needs to hear from me with exquisite notes that say "I love you" -- scattered throughout the day, intruding unexpectedly into her purse or email or phone, -- permeating the heart and soul where memories collect and can't be erased.

Needs to know my white horse stands just outside the door of my heart, in the stable of my thoughts and intentions. Knowing I'm ready to climb on and fight for her, treat her like gold and respect her in ways she never imagined. No one touches my girl, hurts her or gets in her way. I carry a sword and I know how to do battle. Love can be a war and I'm all in. All in!

So, I'm glad my wife isn't a crouton. But if she ever changes, weakens or feels despair, I'll love her like she is one. Never less. Always more. She'll always be my girl, the soul-mate and amazing crouton of my life.

What would you do if you're wife were a crouton?