Wednesday, December 19, 2012

After 13 years of Marriage

Paul and I had our 13th anniversary yesterday.

And, we finally had a communication breakthrough... last week.

Paul assures me that this must be a Missouri thing, because I grew up in Illinois.

For the last 13 years I have been asking questions like, “How does this look?” Or, “what do you think of this meal?” And, Paul would frequently answer, “It’s not half bad” or “not too bad.” Sometimes he says, “It’s decent.”

Well, after 13 years something in me snapped. And a few weeks ago I cried when he said my new recipe was “not too bad.” He did not know what he did wrong. And, I thought, something very charitable, like, “How could he be so mean and dumb?” Well, he explained that his family talks like that when they actually LIKE something! And, then he said, “You mean we’ve been together 13 years and you didn’t know what I meant by that all this time?!” And, I said, “NO! Every time I asked if I looked good, or my clothes looked okay, or my hair, I would think you were saying, ‘It is adequate… or, it will do.’

I can laugh about it now… kinda.

Today at lunch (13 years and one day married), I asked Paul, “Would you like some coffee?” He said, “I might.” Then it hit me… With voice a little elevated, I said, “You mean you might? Or is that a funny way of saying ‘yes, I do.’” To which he answered, “I would like some coffee please.” And, much to my great pleasure, he added, “I really need to work on my communication skills.”

So, there you have it… only 13 years of thinking Paul never liked my meals, hair, clothes, etc.

I am sure I will laugh about this later… maybe 13 years from now.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Sure I Have a Favorite! (Humor)

You know how psychology textbooks talk about birth order and parents having a favorite child and all that? Well, I can’t say that I care one bit about what the textbooks say… but I do have a favorite.

Yep, today my favorite is Nelson, because last night when I was singing him to sleep he told me that I sing better than most of the people on the radio, and asked if I could become famous. When I put him off modestly he insisted, “No, mom, really, you could be famous.” So, today Nelson is my favorite child.

Then there was that time last week when Rebecca asked me, “Mom, which were you born in, the 80s or 90s?” That day Rebecca was my favorite.

One day a few weeks ago Lydia kept kissing me all day. That day she was my favorite.

Another day, Nelson decided that he would “work circles around Rebecca.” He worked SO hard all that day. Often he did chores without being asked, and it seemed he was reading my mind. That day Nelson was my favorite.

Then, there is Joshua. (Get out your Kleenex girls…) We just recently learned from the eye doctor that he is so far-sighted that he can see nothing up close. We had to “max him out” on the highest glasses prescription that he could handle. (In six months, he will be raised even more and be “maxed out” again.) I teased him on the way home saying, “Joshua, that means you don’t know that mommy has freckles. Will you still love me when you see that I have freckles?” He said, “Mommy, you don’t have freckles.”
We picked up his glasses a few days later. In the office I reminded him that I have freckles. He looked at me earnestly through his new glasses for at least 20 seconds. But, more adjustments needed to be done and his attention was taken away.
At home that night he walked up to me and said, “Mommy, I want to look at you.” He stared into my face for a full minute. I don’t think he said anything. But, it was just so precious to know that he could see me for the first time!
That day Joshua was my favorite.

Back when I was fully dependent on caffeine, Becca would bring me Mt. Dew or coffee in bed before I was able to crawl out in the morning. On those days she was my favorite.

Last week I was “sick” with a terrible tooth abscess (It was all the way into the jaw bone, so swollen that I could not remove the tooth for a few days). Long story short, I actually had to take antibiotics… and Tylenol Three. Wow, I was zonked for days. I forced myself to go to church Sunday (mostly to keep my mind off of the pain). When we came home I was a mess. Nelson took off my shoes and socks and tucked me into bed. That day he was my favorite.

Sometimes Baby Jeremiah is extra snuggly. On those days he is my favorite.

Josiah often climbs into bed with me in the morning and “pets” me. He will pet my face and my arms while he breathes his warm stinky toddler morning breath in my face. On those days he is my favorite.

These are just a few examples. As you can see… I clearly have favorites.