As Hubby sat at the table in his work clothes eating his warmed dinner about two hours after the rest of us had eaten, he looked up at me with a mouthful of the salmon I slightly overcooked and said sincerely "You are doing a great job."
Of course my response was my typical, sluggish "Huh? What do you mean?" It was a question in part innocently wondering what he meant, yet also eagerlly wanting to hear more without tipping off to him how much I crave those words.
He preceded to go into how well I'm doing with the boys and at home (and all that really encompasses). Of course he made me tear up. Hubby has a way of getting to me just when I need it, just when I least expect it. Years ago these compliments and gestures meant nothing to me. I refused to take them in, to embrace them, to accept their true validity. I do now and revel in them every chance I get.
And in case you're wondering. He's still a pain, especially when he's sick. But I love him anyhow.