Monday, April 20, 2009

Mom-cation 2009

Tobe's Granny always says the same departing phrase after having a visit with us. She will look closely at Tobe and myself and say, "Take care of each other."

Eight years ago when she began saying this to us as newlyweds, I thought it was just a sweet sentiment. Sure I would take care of Tobe when he's sick or whatever. I could heat up a can of chicken noodle soup with the best of them (regardless of the fact Tobe just started eating soup about a year and a half ago) and can always manage to find ESPN on the television for him to watch when he needs to rest.

Over the years, as we have tread the waters of marriage, I have come to learn more and more what Granny's "Take care of each other" phrase means. It goes beyond tending to the spouse when they are sick, but rather it digs deep into the ideology of actually walking through life side by side another person. "Taking care of each other" is knowing when the other partner is struggling, putting aside selfish desires for the good of the whole, is listening when you really want to talk (and in my case: talk and talk and talk), and the understanding that the promise made to walk by this person for eternity will not be broken.

Tobe and I have a pretty realistic view of marriage that can seem a bit unromantic at times. Practicality is Tobe's strong suit and I have become a quick study in such a mindset. We know not every day in our marriage is bound to be a pretty one, that there are times when frustrations seem unending, but we are committed to "take care of each other".

This past weekend was my birthday. I told Tobe (who is an excellent gift giver, by the way) that all I wanted was a day off from being Mommy. I have a bit of a loner streak in me and I really just wanted 12 waking hours of a day to do whatever I wanted by myself.

Tobe heard that request and presented me with a weekend stay at a nearby luxury hotel.

That boy knows how to take of me.

I arrived at my destination early on Friday evening, after having enjoyed a quick birthday dinner with the family. My arms were loaded with a stack of magazines (bought by my thoughtful husband, which included all the gossip glossies that I usually only read while standing in line at Wal-Mart), a bag of clothes, and a purse that did not contain one sippy cup or emergency box of raisins.

I relaxed in my room that evening reading, snacking, and flipping the channels to my heart's content. There were no baths to give, bedtime ultimatums to issue, or children's books to read.

The next morning I leisurely got ready without anyone peeking their little head into the shower to inquire what I was doing. I ate a yummy breakfast, then set out for some serious shopping. Not once while shopping did I have to figure out how to maneuver a stroller through crowded aisles or sense a meltdown coming on. I didn't even have to talk to anyone, which was great. After shopping, I had a massage and a nap.

Saturday night Alison came over to the hotel and we were able to eat dinner and finish conversations, which never happens when we are together with our four children. We shopped a bit more and then stayed up late discussing a variety of topics.

I eventually returned back to reality yesterday around lunchtime. The kids had a great time just hanging out with Tobe, but still gave me a very warm homecoming welcome. By this morning I was back into my normal groove of sippy-cup toting, tantrum-stopping (hopefully none of you were in my Wal-Mart at 10:30 am this morning because you would have heard the quintessential two year old fit), lunch-serving, book-reading, hug-giving mommy.

I am extremely grateful to have a husband who goes beyond simply taking care of me and truly listens and attends to my needs. I often pray for the wisdom to do the same for him. One of the best things about being away from Tobe for a period of time is that we always sit around and talk about every little detail we both experienced while apart. We are big talkers and we especially like to chat with each other (The second summer I returned from Africa we talked on the phone for five hours the night I arrived home just catching up after only communicating via email for two months. Still sorry about that phone bill, Dad). Yesterday we talked almost all through the children's naptime and then resumed our conversation later that evening when they went to bed.

Good times.

Take a minute today to think how you can make your spouse's day a bit brighter and how you can take care of him/her in some way.

You'll be glad you did.

Here is proof the children love hanging with their daddy:

This is the first time that I have been gone that Evelyn has had actual hair that needs to be fixed in the morning. I gave Tobe a quick lesson in "Little Girl Bob 101" before I left and he did a good job with E.'s hair both mornings.

**Sidenote: Tobe's Granny...whose wisdom inspired this a bit under-the-weather. We would all really appreciate it if you would say a little prayer for her.


Jennifer said...

so glad you had a nice, relaxing time!

Ashley said...

What a great post and great husband! You deserve this!

Amy said...

What a fun idea! Glad you got your alone time and girl-chat time all in one momcation:-)

Stephanie said...

Wow! Sounds Heavenly. What a great birthday. Happy Belated Day!

Kelly said...

Sounds fabulous!

Shanta said...

That Tobe is good people. I love you two together! I know you absolutely deserved the peace and quiet and massage. Happy Birthday Lynley!

Sydni said...

Sounds like bliss! We all love our kids beyond belief, but being "Mommy" is constant and totally exhausting. (It also has to be the most rewarding, fulfilling, etc. etc. work anyone could do as well - well, you know what I mean.)

Sarah said...

You are blessed, friend! What a great husband you have.