Oh! I feel all better today. And I want to tell you why, and how God did it, and how we helped. Because I think knowing this will help a lot of people.
The last week was kind of a blur. All of us at the SW/DH household coasted into the driveway on fumes. Empty tanks--emotionally, physically, you name it. And Delighted Husband and I knew we both had to work Saturday and we were just flatlined about it. Could barely fog a mirror at the thought.
I remember thinking "God help" and I don't even think it was that coherent. But God heard. And God knew exactly what to do. (this is one of my favorite things about Himself) God sent my friends.
One friend sent me an email that said essentially, "Please don't take this the wrong way, but I'm worried about you. You're working too hard. It's fine for you to be excited about this new calling God has invited you to, but you have to honor yourself and your family with the pace in which you do it." Wise man. And Grace of God I did not let my pride get in the way of hearing him. And Grace of God I did not let my pride get in the way of hearing Him. Cause they were singin' a duet. No doubt about it.
Another friend called me to check on me. After a few hiccups and interruptions I finally started to tell him the story of the last few days and the condition I was in because of it. Frazzled. Tired. Excited, but with an increasing sense of fatigue that had started a feeling of lowgrade panic. He listened--patiently, sympathetically--telling me that he and his wife had been praying for us. Then he smiled (I could just hear it through the phone) and said, "You know us guys, we have this tendency, this need, to want to 'fix it'. And even though I've listened sympathetically, and I think you feel supported, I just have this male need to offer a suggestion. Can you humor me?"
"What I think you should do, is play. And do something really special. And get the whole family involved. And later, after the kids are in bed, in your own inimitable way, you should love your husband and let him love you."
And folks that's exactly what I did.
I called Delighted Husband and told him I was planning a night of fun and recreation and I wanted to know where he wanted to go out for dinner. A nice dinner. He was a bit surprized by the recommendation. Surprized in a good way. I mean I could tell his brain hadn't even been on the "how can I reward myself tonight" trajectory. Ding! Score one for Friend Dennis.
"Uh, wow, hon. What exactly did you have in mind?"
"Oh, nice dinner. Any place you like. And by any place, I mean you don't have to pick a place that can accomodate my athletic training diet. I'm going off-plan tonight. And I'm not the least bit worried about it. I hardly ate any carbs or calories earlier today anyway, but that's not the point. The point is you can pick the place YOU want to eat, not the place that it is the most likely source for non-breaded lean protein. Easy, baby. What are you hungry for?"
And he named the restaurant.
"What else do you have in mind?" his voice is a bit lighter now. Hope is growing.
"A movie in the gameroom. Something funny and lighthearted with the kids, and lots of cuddles during and afterward."
"Oh? Great! We should have plenty of Netflix in the mailbox."
Friends, I am delighted to report that--after a delicious dinner of casual yummy decadent food--we snuggled into comfy chairs and comfy couches and watched National Lampoon's Vacation. The classic one. The kids had never seen it and I hadn't seen it since college.
We laughed ourselves to the brink of goofyness and beyond.
There is something so healing and intimate about laughter. Laughing together. And catching the eye of someone you love and watching them get the joke and enjoying their laughter more than you enjoy your own. We did that all night long. Eyes sparkling, kids giggling, guffaws and belly laughs from Delighted Husband and me.
It. was. wonderful.
And at the end, when the the closing credits rolled, and the first line of the song was sung,
We went dannnncin, cross the U. S. AAAAAAAAA, on that craaaazy king's highwaaaaaaaay
I got up out of my recliner and said,
"Kids, it's time to dance."
"Oh no Mom, really. I'm fine. You go ahead and enjoy."
(translation: you go right ahead goofy mother I am waaaay too cool for that)
Before I can form a reply, Delighted Husband says "Mommy's right. Get up and dance."
Groaning and halfhearted shuffling, they dance, as I am twirling and laughing round the room.
Next thing I know, Delighted Husband is laughing and taking them by the hand and leading them in a silly squaredance. I grab two wrists and join in. We make a meandering circle, first one way and then another, with Delighted Husband leading the switch in a sudden haphazard motion designed to keep us too goofy to try and be graceful. I am laughing at full guffaw. So is Delighted Husband. One dear child is still being a pill.
Whiney voice:"Daddy's pulling my wrist. He's going to pull it OFF! Waaah waah gripe gripe"
I keep laughing and hug him close and sing along with the movie, "Well if you were dannnnncin, your wrissssst would not get pullllllllled."
By some small grace, they got it. Dear Child shook and chortled with laughter while still enveloped in my arms. Their shaking shoulders under my hands were one of the sweetest sensations I've ever felt.
We continued our Goofy Squaredance of Love until the song ended and the credits ran out. We were all high from the endorphins of laugh. It was glorious.
Delighted Husband went straight off to bed because he has to get up pre 6am.
Dear Child who finally danced asks me to stay in his room after tuck in "just to keep me company". He's not stalling to defer sleep. I can tell he really means it. I sit down on the Zepplin pillow in the corner of their room, and Dear Child crawls into his bed. I don't remember what we talked about, or if I even said anything at all. We were just happy and warmhearted, quietly breathing the same air in the room.
"I wish I could hold your hand."
Dear Child scrambles out of the covers, wiggles down to the foot of the bed, lays his cheek on one hand and reaches for me with the other. I sit there, just breathing, calmly and silently, and hold his hand. I have to reach, and my delt starts to burn, but I don't care. My Alex P. Keaton too-cool-to-dance son, mumbles, "I love you mom" and falls asleep holding my hand.