IN OTHER WORDS | Close Happens

I’ve been married seventeen years. We have. That’s a long time. Two kids, one miscarriage, two inter-city moves, one cross-country relocation, two cat losses, several rough periods that tested our spirit, and yet. Close still happens.

This weekend we have a getaway planned. It’s not much, just us in our hometown at a hotel while my mom and stepfather watch our boys, ages 12 and 9. We planned it far in advance to give us a chance to reconnect.

Because life happens, my husband, who rarely gets sick, has been down with the flu for four days. He went to the doctor today who said “fluids, rest, keep doing what you’re doing.” He’s much better, he’s talking in full sentences, he’s up and around and he even asked if he could play XBOX today, which was hilarious. He couldn’t find the controllers. I had hidden them from the kids who were, never mind, I don’t need a reason, OK? So, he’s out of bed, playing video games, resting and healing.

My caretaking has created closeness. He’s not one to ask for help. Normally when sick he sleeps for a day and then pops up like a jack-in-the-box. This has been different. He hasn’t even been taking his temperature. I’m bringing him Gatorade, Tylenol, making him soup, bringing him toast, checking on him. I’m sleeping on the foldout couch in my office and suiting up in hazmat gear when I play nurse. OK, not really, but I have a compromised immune system. I catch things just by talking about them. So far, I’m OK. And the kids? “No, you can’t see Daddy!”

We also had a big life decision this week. Isn’t that always the case, when one partner is down, life hands you a challenge. We handled it, I thought, with maturity and grace. It wasn’t easy, it will mean some changes, but it will also mean good. I feel like part of a team. It feels good.

We planned this weekend—which we’re doing no matter what, just maybe with ginger ale rather than Shiner Bock—to reconnect. Getaways feed our marriage, enrich our relationship and remind us how much we like each other for those times when we really don’t like each other. Being a parent is hard. It’s great, but it’s stressful. It’s expensive and it pushes buttons and it’s exhausting. Being married is hard. It’s great, but it’s stressful. It pushes buttons, it challenges individuality and it forces compromise. Getting away, having fun, forgetting about the bills and the big decisions and helping with homework and unclogging the toilet, that’s good stuff. Close happens. And when you get home, back to the kids, and the homework, and the toilet, the close is deeper. And that’s good.

 

You’ll see a new post from me, every day in November as part of National Blog Posting Month, NaBloPoMo. Join in for an entire month dedicated to writing. See BlogHer for all the information you need to get started.

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