Meet the man behind the titles

Categorized as 09/29/08 Goshen News column

I’ve shared with you often about the trials and tribulations of being the only girl in a house full of men, but what I hope I’ve communicated above and beyond all of that is the sheer joy of it all. That’s because I like this life. Actually, I love this life, and the biggest reason for my contentment is the man who gave me his last name.

He’s got lots of titles. To me, he’s “hon.” His sons call him “dad.” His clients and other family members know him simply as “Grant.” These names, however, only give you a very small inkling of who he really is. Today, it’s time you really met him.

The fact that you’re hearing our stories at all can be directly attributed to Mr. Schrock and his sturdy foot. For years, this very foot has been planted solidly in my backside. This uncomfortable position was accompanied by countless speeches that went something like this, “You should be writing,” and, “You need to write a book,” until he was hoarse and my ears were numb.

“Oh, sure,” I would say caustically. “Let me just finish these 37 loads of laundry, type that stack of reports, and I’ll slide a book right in there.

Then came the day last summer when he opened his mouth and shared his dream for me (oh, thanks) with a Goshen News correspondent who was interviewing him. She kindly read a piece I wrote and, to my great surprise, was quite encouraging. Mr. Kroemer, our publisher, read it as well, and the rest is – well, you know.

In addition to the Head Encourager, he’s the Commander to my General Petraeus. He’s the chief of the tribe. He’s the head of the bureau to my Britt Hume. He’s the judge, presiding over four lively codefendants with a firm, but loving hand.

In a world where radical feminism wants to feminize men, he’s a true example of real manhood. While he has the courage to take a calculated risk and the tenacity that’s required of a man to succeed in business, he is moved to tender affection at the sight of a sleeping boy. He will gladly cut a cord of wood or work a long day at the office to provide for his family. Upon coming home, he does what fathers do – he checks the mail and he finds the mama to get the daily update on what’s happened with his family that day.

I honestly don’t know how single mothers do it. My heart goes out to those dear women who are raising kids, caring for a house, and working to put food on the table. Dr. Dobson has said that they have the hardest job in the world, and that is surely true.

Bedtime, I think, must be the hardest. A mother is exhausted by then, and the little monkeys know it. After multiple drinks and a 30-minute tooth brushing followed by 13 toilet flushes, a mother’s blood pressure is up in the red zone.

“Can you pray them down?” I will plead, tired beyond measure. “It sticks better when you do it.” One word from a deep, authoritative voice and a pointed finger, and there they go, marching up the stairs like Boy Scouts with their father bringing up the rear.

As further proof of his manhood, Mr. Schrock is a Notre Dame football fan and an IU basketball enthusiast. He loves watching World War II documentaries on the History channel and seeing what new weapons they’ve conjured up on the Military channel. He understands boys who chew their toast into the shape of a gun. He also understands why a boy needs to win at something and why he needs to stand up for himself sometimes. Being a boy at heart and a chocolate lover to boot, he occasionally declares a “Krispy Kreme Sunday,” and out comes the chocolate milk, the doughnuts, and the Bugs Bunny episodes.

He’s my bug squasher and the trash taker-outer. He’s the oil changer and furnace filter cleaner. Above all, he’s a leader. By his example, he shows his sons how to make wise decisions, how to follow God, and what respect and love for a woman look like.

The fact that he considers me his equal and includes me in all decision making is honorable. Early on, he devoured books on marriage and learned well the art of communication. He even enjoys following me around at the mall, for goodness sake (no fabric stores, please). Throw in a dry sense of humor and the weekly mocha he brings me, and he’s the whole package.

So what if his socks don’t always make it into the basket or if he’s a little grumpy in the morning? He knows his girl and he loves his boys, and for that, this girl is thankful.

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