A Quarter To Six…
Updated: 7 days ago
Marriage: an act of unconditional love. Compromise. Give-and-take. Teamwork.
Marriage requires work. But that labor can actually vary abundantly from couple-to-couple. Work, to maintain a tranquil, content place. Work, to push through some major bumps-in-the-road. Work, to run a household smoothly. Work, to balance careers with relationship. Work, to care for the precious gift of children.
The work may be easy. At times, it may be minimal. Or, at other times, it may require your sturdiest work boots to prepare for some heavy digging, down in the deepest of trenches, in an attempt to get to the root of a problem.
No matter, marriage requires work. Effort. Acknowledgment. Appreciation. Affection.
And when those things start to fade, the work and effort poured in needs to be reevaluated.
My husband and I have been together for over 13 years. We met halfway through college. We have been married for over eight years. And into our together-created-world, we have welcomed one feisty and playful dog, as well as three sweet, precious girls. And you guessed it…more work. Together. As a team.
Having little ones is a full-time job-in-and-of-itself. The best one in the whole-wide-world. But, those amazing little beings require a lot of energy and attention. And throw in two sick ones back-to-back in a 60-hour period of time. Yup. A lot of work.
That’s where my husband and I make such a great team. Don’t get me wrong; our personalities are very different in some ways. Him: a straight-shooter, to the point, penny-pinching, beyond-loyal friend, and a super-supportive partner. Me: a sugar-coat-it; emotional, empathetic, love-to-spend, indecisive companion. Together, we balance each other out. Our core values and beliefs: 100% in-line.
So, on Tuesday night, straight out-of-the-bathtub, when our oldest beauty told me her “tummy just didn’t quite feel right” and that she had “junkies coming up her throat”…this mama knew what was coming. And my stress level shot up. I called my husband and asked him to please bring his laptop home from work, because the next day was our 100th Day at school, and I really didn’t want to miss it with my class (especially because we had parent volunteers coming). I told him not to rush home; we were fine. But you know what…only an absolutely amazing Daddy would pack up his things and leave immediately to come home to his poor little babe.
Ohhhhh, and did our toilet-hugging little sweetie light up like a firework when she saw him walk up the stairs.
The rest of the evening was spent balancing time between getting her comfortable in our bed (covered with towels and some spare blankets), while simultaneously, keeping the other two gated away from her and ready for bed. She was s.u.c.h. a trooper, this amazing babe. Grabbing her bucket, taking care of business and trying to go back to sleep. As we continually popped in our room to check on her. And her teary little roommate may have even had a harder time that night without her big sis in her usual nighttime spot, just a mere four feet away. (Bribery…shamefully…you know, precious mamas. A new “surprise” if she could stay in her bed for the night while we took care of her “sissy”, and she did.)
So, as midnight rolled around, and we were finally preparing for bed, as our beautiful sweetheart was still in agony, we tried to figure out the best solution to get through the night. Downstairs?! In our bed?! Back to her bed (nope, nope on all angles of that one)?! On the floor next to our bed?! We ultimately decided that she would stay on the far side of our bed, where “Daddy” sleeps, my husband would sleep in the middle, and I would be on my side. A tight squeeze. But we managed.
The next six hours? H.o.r.r.i.b.l.e. Thirsty doesn’t even begin to describe how she felt. And we begged and pleaded with her to just take sips. But, we could barely keep our eyes open round-after-round to carefully ensure she was following instructions, and sure enough the gulps came. And nothing was staying down. My husband? N.o.t. o.n.e. c.o.m.p.l.a.i.n.t. Sure, I was up-and-awake by their sides, through the entirety of it all. But, it was “Daddy” who cleaned out the bucket. Daddy who got “more water, please”. And Daddy who snuggled her tightly.
He could have easily asked me to take her downstairs (and believe me, that conversation came up more than once, figuring out if that would be a good move), but he himself thought keeping her up with us, comfortably would help her the most. He could have easily told me to switch him sides. So, he didn’t have to be “in the thick of it”. But he never did. He took care of his first-born beauty without waivering.
And at 5:42 in the morning, as we were contemplating a possible emergency room visit for some fluids in the next few hours, if things didn’t improve, he flipped over, throwing his arm over my side and whispered, “I love you.” He definitely did not have to do that. But it was perfect. There we were, in one exhausting, working-overtime kind of worrisome nights, and yet, he still took a moment to tell me how much he cared.
Yes, marriage is full of work. Our marriage is not perfect. I would never claim that it is. But even in the absolutely most overworked, tiresome moments, with the right partner by your side, things don’t have to seem so stressful. So completely overwhelming. So heavy.
And last Wednesday morning, at a quarter-to-six in the morning, I totally-and-completely experienced the reward of our hard work, together. As a team.
And for that, I could not feel more grateful.