Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Why It Works
So why does it work? Bottom line…we work at it.
We laugh….like last week when I tried on a new outfit….Pat’s feedback: “Love the pants, not sure about the top…don’t like the ruffles.” And later that night, “You really didn’t like the shirt?” “I’d go so far as to say I hate it.” Starts laughing and then says, “How’s that? I decided after 25 years if I can’t tell you what I really think about your clothes then there’s a problem.” Of course, I did still call my mom for her opinion the next day…she was an immediate no. And most of all, we laugh at all the things the boys do. There are many days when one parent is disciplining and the other one is walking out of the room laughing because we can’t really believe what one of our little guys did…and a little later we’re laughing together about it.
We love…and we talk about our love. Our marriages ebbs and flows….there are times when we don’t pay enough attention to each other. Case in point: four years ago we were in Hilton Head with our family, my mom and Pat’s parents. Our parents watched the boys while we went out to dinner. On our walk back to our house, Pat said, “We need to talk.” I wasn’t paying attention to our love for each other…and Pat called me on it. I needed the reality check. I remember thinking, “Nice timing…we’re on vacation with our parents.” Reality: I needed to hear it…stop being selfish…we’re a partnership and I need a partner. Life is better when we’re open and honest with each other. Pat is also a letter writer…his letters are one of his most precious gifts to me. So in the hustle and bustle of raising four boys and working full time…we try to get time for just us (and wow is it nice now to not have to pay for a babysitter….benefits of having a teenager!)
We appreciate each other’s little quirks…A story Pat loves to tell is that the thing he was most surprised about after we got married is that I’m absentminded. I will “put things away” (which sometimes means lost or actually thrown away” because I can’t stand clutter. When he’s looking for something I’ve “put away”, he asks differently, “Do you know where it is? Can you tell me the three places you could have put it?” Like last week before I left for work, “Do you know where the cards are with the boys classrooms for Vacation Bible School?” I go downstairs to look, come back up stairs, “Pretty sure I threw them away…do you mind getting there a few minutes early to check on their rooms?” He starts cracking up…”Yep..not a problem.” Those types of conversations didn’t always go so well! Pat’s quirk is that he loves, loves, loves to exaggerate…so I sit back, relax, have a nice laugh and enjoy his exaggeration! I could fill an entire years worth of blog entries with the stories he tells us!
We know what makes the other tick….When I am most stressed, he knows how to help me relax…”Want to go for a walk with Karen or Katie tonight?” “Why don’t you go take a bath?” “Why don’t you head to your craft room for a while?” He knows when I am most stressed and when I need a little “me” break. And he…is happiest when he’s creating…drawing pictures of a room in our house he wants to redo. It’s a good night when he’s sitting in the family room with a ruler and some graph paper and a pencil behind his ear (and as the years have gone on…reading glasses tilted on his nose.) And he is so happy coaching the boys in whatever sport is in season. He does a ton of volunteer work for Little League. I’ll get comments, “Doesn’t it drive you crazy how much time he spends on baseball?” My response, “Not really. He’s so happy when he’s coaching. He loves making the connection with the boys.”
We worry together…We worry about the boys. Are we loving, teaching and protecting them enough as they grow up? We worry about our family and friends who are sick or have lost a close family member. We worry about each other. We talk and we share our worries with each other and the boys….hoping to have grace with whatever challenge may come our way. Making sure at a minimum we start and end each day with an I Love You…and smiling our biggest when one of the boys says I Love You in the middle of the day for no particular reason.
So..that is why I think “it” works….it’s not all sunshine…but at the end of each day…there is definitely so much good that “it” is really great.
The card above is for Julie and Rob…may “it” work for you too! Wishing you many years of happiness together.
P.S. Playing along with JUGS for their color challenge this week and with the current CARDS challenge too!
Ingredients: SU Pink Pirouette Paper/Ink, Very Vanilla Paper/Ribbon, Mellow Moss Ink, Chocolate Chip Ink; PTI June Flowers