Happy Valentine's Day, everyone! Today is all about making sure the one you love appreciates the depth of your feelings. As mushy as it may seem, I'd like to take the time to explain what love means to me.
Before I begin I think I should point out that I do realize that all my posts to this point have focused mainly on my daughter and our relationship. I believe it's time I talked about another very significant relationship in my life. This past weekend my husband treated me to a weekend away at the beach. We left on Friday afternoon as soon as we both could get home from work and get our acts together. I can't even begin to describe how excited I was over this trip. All the way down I kept looking over at him and thinking about how much I love him. We've been married almost 24 years now and every day it just keeps getting better. He had made reservations for us at the Sandestin Hilton Spa and Resort. Despite the cold I was excited to be at the beach! We haven't been to the beach for the weekend in so very long. Our beach-side, fifth floor, balcony room was wonderful...so were the strawberries and champagne.
We found the coolest little local spot for dinner...Busters. For those of you familiar with Sandestin...it is almost directly across from Silver Sands in a shopping center. It's a sports bar and very busy with an obviously local crowd. Right then we didn't care. We were just hungry! I believe we may have to become one of the "locals" when we go back. The food was incredible. Who would have thought you could great such good blackened chicken alfredo in a sports bar! We spent our time when we got back after dinner looking out at the gulf from our balcony and listening to the sounds of the surf. Thanks to the sheltered location of our room, we were even able to sleep with the sliding glass door to the balcony open so we could hear the waves all night long. I haven't slept that well in a long, long time. Absolutely stress free!
On Saturday we met an old friend, one of John's old college roommates actually, for lunch. He brought along his wife, step daughter, and five-year-old daughter. It's important that you understand that Aubrey is my age. I had Erin when I was 27 and he has a five-year-old! As John and I stood and watched him on the playground with her we both were thinking how glad we are that we are out of that stage!
Saturday night we met some other friends for dinner at Mitchell's Fish House. If you've never been, you've got to go! The food was out of this world and the atmosphere conducive to a romantic night out. The food exceeded expectations and the company was even better. We've definitely got to do that again! On Sunday John and I got in a little shopping before we came home. By the afternoon the wind had died down and we were walking around Destin in our shirt sleeves hating the idea of going home.
It has taken my saying all this to get to my point. On the ride home it occurred to me just how quiet our weekend had really been. Companionable silence. We have reached a stage in our marriage where not talking is as comforting as a heart-felt discussion. I wish I could tell you how many times this weekend John and I didn't finish each other's sentences. We actually began making the same comment at the same time. It is eerie how much alike we think. A couple of times we actually began laughing at the exact same time, I looked at him and said, "That reminds me of..." and he, laughing, said, "Me, too." End of conversation. Both of us knew what we were talking about. If you are around us very much, you'll notice that in our home element we are both pretty quiet. You'd be amazed just how much we actually say! Isn't that where everyone hopes to get in their relationships?
So how did we spend our Valentine's Day getaway? Quietly. We spent time together laughing at the same things, reading, strolling through shops, and enjoying jokes we didn't actually have to tell each other. I can remember more than 24 years ago trying to decide if he was The One. I distinctly remember realizing there was nothing to decide...he just was. All these many years later he still is. After a long day at school all I need to do to feel better when I get home is see his car in the garage. He listens to me rant about my day with a small smile on his face that I know means he knows all he is expected to do is listen. He fixes all my problems just by standing there nodding as I rant. He makes sure I have sinus medicine all the time. He does the ironing when I have lots of papers to grade or just don't want to do it. He lets me watch TV by myself in another room without wondering if I'm angry. He runs me a bath when I'm cold. He cleans the kitchen when I cook. He folds laundry. He checks out any noises I hear in the middle of the night. He pulls my feet to his side of the bed even when he knows my toes are frigid! He goes to bed a little early so he can warm my side, then when I come to bed he moves over to his (cold) side and lets me have the warm spot. Every morning during the week he puts the alarm clock and the remote next to me in bed when he leaves for work so that I don't have to crawl over to the night stand to turn off the alarm. When I'm tired on the weekend and don't want to do anything but nap in my chair all day, he doesn't mind if I don't clean house. He lets me take his car shopping. He plays music we both like when we go places rather than listen to the stuff I know he likes better. On the weekends he cooks breakfast for me. He's nice to my friends. He lets me go down to my mother's when my sister is home without wondering when I'll be home. He's nice to my relatives and doesn't hold them against me.
I feel like I've left something out, but I think I've mentioned the best parts. Do you know what the best part is? Every time I look at him I see the man waiting for me at the altar all those years ago. I remember the look in his eyes as I walked down the aisle to him. I remember holding my breath hoping he really would go through with it. The only way to express how I feel about him is this...I love him. Completely. Comprehensively. Thoroughly. He isn't my best friend. He's better. He's my husband.