This is what My Darling said to me on the phone this afternoon. "Meet me at 3:00." What??
Last night, I really hoped to make a trip into town together. I really Just Needed Time With My Husband. It seems the last few weeks, that's been more and more difficult to come by. If I leave the house, it's with at least one or two of the kids in tow, and sometimes My Darling. I figured that was as good a reason as any, and besides, we're beginning to install the network of wires which will warm the tiles beneath our feet in the new master bathroom. We needed to get a few supplies to finish installation so I can get to work laying the floor tiles.
I needed a date.
It didn't happen.
I was mad. I positively stewed about it, because from my perspective, he completely missed the point. Ha, taunted the devil, he doesn't want time with you. He'd rather work on piddly details. He wants you to suffer. Rats. In my human weakness, I listened.
Practically everyone who doesn't live under a rock has heard the adage, "Never let the sun set on your anger." For Pete's sake, that's so much more easily said than done. For one thing, my anger didn't even begin until dusk. So the sun setting on it was pretty much a given. For another thing, I happen to be happily married to a man whose sole prerequisite for sleep is to start out awake. In order to resolve conflicts within the course of the day--day ending with my eyes closing for the night--I generally have to repeatedly nudge My Darling back to consciousness.
My Darling made the decision that we weren't going to town; he would pick up the things we needed the following day. There's a pretty good chance I grumbled under my breath, and an even better chance I was incredibly uncharitable in my heart. I said to My Darling, "You leave the house every day. You have time to yourself while you drive, while you sit in your office, while you go from job to job. I don't even get to use the loo by myself, for Pete's sake."
He said, simply, "I don't want to drive in. Want to go for a walk with me?"
Meh. I wasn't up for a walk. I should have been, but I just wasn't. Instead, I stewed in my anger. My churlish attitude suited me just fine, thank you, and I wasn't about to let him cheat me out of it by taking me on a walk.
Fast forward back to the nudging. I nudged, I grumbled, we talked, we settled.
Now, for some reason, I've just not been sleeping. Last night was particularly rough, with my Bug very uncharacteristically waking up five or six times to snuggle and nurse. I think the full moon might have something to do with it, coupled with the fact that we've had lots of fronts rolling through. Anyway, the last time I looked at the clock it was 5:30 this morning, which, on Tuesday, is time for My Darling to get up. He goes to Adoration at 7:00 on Tuesday mornings, and with the half-hour drive it takes to get there, he needs time to walk the dogs, have some coffee, and ruin the crossword puzzle.
My Darling was still asleep when I rolled over to put the Buggie back in her little bed, so I nudged him awake. I'm pretty sure he came up to kiss me before he left, because he always does, but I must have been sleeping pretty deeply. I don't remember a thing.
Lots to get done around the house. Many goals this week, including curtains to be made from a beautiful bed sheet I found at a garage sale. Diapers to fold. Soooooooooooo much to be done. Two cups of coffee, and some of a third. Three cups of Lady Grey tea. Soooooooooooo tired, was I, as the day headed toward afternoon. Quiet time, thanks be to God. The Monkey went up to take his snooze. Pickle went to play at a friend's house. Reepicheep camped out on her bed with a book. The Frog was cozied up in the rocking chair with her book. The Bug had a warmly full tummy, was snuggled in, sleeping, and ready to be put down.
I thought, "I'll call him." I always call My Darling on Tuesdays sometime after his scheduled time for Adoration and ask him, "How is My Lord today?" and he always answers, "Beautiful."
So I called. I was just going to ask him, and then I was going up to snuggle with the Monkey for a while and close my eyes. I figured I could get at least 45 minutes.
And he said: "Meet me at 3:00."
I said, "I don't want to drive in and then have to follow you home. Can't you just come home and then we can drive in together?"
He said, "Meet me at 3:00."
It was 1:50. I said, "Who am I supposed to bring with me?" He said, "I already talked to the Frog. Don't bring anyone with you."
Huh. That's incredibly rare. And My Darling is not one to spring romantic surprises, so...........
I hopped in the shower (by myself!). I took the time to choose my outfit carefully, taking out a blouse I know he likes. I brushed through my hair and pulled it back the way he prefers. I even got to put on a little make-up. The whole time, I marveled at the butterflies flitting about in my gut. I was anticipating this time with My Love, eager for whatever he had planned.
As I drove in to meet him, my heart flopped around like a half-filled water balloon. I could not, for the life of me, figure out what he was up to. As I neared our meeting place, my heart was pounding, and I could feel the blush creeping up my cheeks and forehead, into my hairline. What a blessing! To have a husband I love so much that twelve years of marriage later, I am still thrilled at the prospect of spending a few stolen hours with him! I felt, too, the pangs of regret for my behavior last night.
I found his parking spot easily. He was waiting for me with the window down and the seat laid back a bit, as though he'd been there for hours and was just waking up from a restful nap. "Get in," he said.
He leaned over and kissed me tenderly, and held my hand as we drove off, leaving my van for later. As we headed downtown, it suddenly dawned on me where we were going.
As we drove, the butterflies emerged once again. My heart pounded. The familiar blush began it's ascent. I was anticipating time with My Lord!
My Darling was taking me to Adoration. He said, "I want you to know I heard you. I've seen your stress and felt your anxiety, and I'm taking you to Him." Oh, it did so not escape my mind that 3:00 is the Hour of Mercy.
Well that did it. The Queen of the Weepy People was now holding court. I fumbled around in the glove box for napkins or tissues--I had, after all, put make-up on my face, and knew that it would be smeared unless I dabbed at my eyes. Gents, if you long to make your true love cry (in a good way!), tell her you're taking her to Adoration.
We signed in and opened the door into the Eucharistic Chapel. As I sank to my knees before the Lord, beautifully held in the gorgeous Monstrance, I began pouring my heart out to Him. I prayed for My Darling, my Frog, my Pickle, my Reepicheep, my Monkey and my Bug. I asked Him to help me love them each well, and thanked Him for the beauty of the heart of a man who would seek to help his wife in the only way he knew: bring her before the Lord.
We did eventually make it back to my van, and we even browsed the second-hand store for a bit (nothing good in the furniture department, though I did find some lovely antique cut work napkins...). I am so refreshed, in a way which would not have been possible by taking a nap. A 45 minute nap could never compare to 20 minutes with My Lord.
The next time he tells me to meet him at 3:00, no matter how tired I am, I'll not tarry......