The View From A Slightly Twisted Angle

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Filling In The Gaps

on October 22, 2012

“She’s got gaps, I got gaps. Together we fill gaps” Rocky Balboa – “Rocky”

As we were retiring for the night last night my husband and I were chatting about the busy weekend filled with kid activities. Suddenly he looked at me and asked, “Do you think we’ll be one of those couples who fall apart after their kids all move out?”  I snuggled up to him and said, “Please! By the time we get the ten year old out of the house we’ll be too old and tired for any of that. Face it. You’re stuck with me.”   “No seriously” he said, “People always say that but then they end up fighting all the time after their kids are grown. Do you think we’ll do that?”  Laughing, I kissed him on the cheek and replied, “Not a chance. I like you too much.” Long after I heard his rhythmic breathing (sounds so much nicer than “snoring” doesn’t it?) signaling that he’d fallen asleep I pondered his question. How am I so sure that won’t happen to us? We are pretty deep in our children’s world right now. Is this what all couples think and then are surprised when they become empty nesters? The thoughts swirled through my brain keeping me awake. (My inability to fall asleep couldn’t have remotely had anything to do with my two and a half hour nap yesterday afternoon could it?  Nah….)

As I lay in the quiet darkness I thought about the weekend that had just passed.  Friday night’s football game where my Prince Charming knew without asking that I needed coffee from the concession stand. The night he kept asking me if I was too cold and wanted to leave.  Nope.  I was fine.  Who needs feeling in their toes anyway? (Note to self:  purchase thermal socks before next year’s high school football season.)  I thought about the way he looked after me when we walked home in the dark after the game. (We only live a few blocks from the stadium.) Taking my elbow at the street corners. Steering me around a puddle.  Adjusting the length of his “I’m a foot taller than you” stride so we’d stay in step.  Yep.  The man takes care of me.  Not because he thinks I can’t take care of myself or because I expect him to do things.  He takes care of me because he loves me.  Just like I take care of him because I love him.  Gaps filled.

Saturday morning arrived with the flurry of getting kids to where they were supposed to be when they were supposed to be there.  Our daughters had a state marching band competition.  Our son was going camping with some boys from church.  I was rushing around, packing our son’s stuff and fussing over whether or not he was feeling okay and whether or not he had enough stuff.  My husband, in his quiet voice said, “Honey I think he’s fine.  Quit fussing. They’ll let us know if there is a problem.”  He’s  the voice of reason and quiet reassurance when I fly into frantic mode.  The one who can calm me down.  The one who can stop me before I take off into “helicopter mom”.  Just like I am the one who can calm him down when he is annoyed and frustrated.  Gaps filled.

As we were trying to herd everyone out the door our youngest daughter was taking extra time upstairs, much to the annoyance of her older sister, the driver. As our older daughter stood at the bottom of the stairs tapping her foot my husband grinned at her and called up the stairs, “Hey!  You’re going to a marching band competition not prom!”  That got her down the stairs. Yep.  He’s funny which is a HUGE asset when being married to me. I would drive a serious person insane in about 15 seconds flat.  You have to be a little warped to hang out with me for as long as he has.  I can dish it.  He can dish it back.  He thinks a lot like I do he is just a lot quieter than I am.  For example: later that day I was whining to telling him about one of my fingers which was sore from an arthritis flare up.  Not a big deal because it happens from time to time and it always goes away.  My dilemma?  It’s a middle finger so when it “catches” from the arthritis every once in a while and it looks kind of bad.  After he accused me of flipping him off he said, “Hey! I dare you to walk up to the altar tomorrow, show it to someone and ask for prayer.”  See?  He’s just as nuts as I am.  We laugh a lot in our house.  Gaps filled.

Saturday was a glorious day spent together  traveling alone to watch our daughters’ competition.  A day without kids.  We enjoyed a quiet trip and a quiet lunch at one of our favorite resturants. We sat for hours in bleachers watching bands and people.  He knew what I was going to say about a band or a person without my having to say it.  When the annoying man at the end of the row in front of us began to tell the people around him, loudly I might add, about how his granddaughter loved the dvd of the band he just bought at the last competition and how they are the best band he’s ever seen…blah…blah…blah… I looked at my husband. He grinned and said, “Yeah.  It should at least hurt to be that annoying.”  (We don’t want annoying people to be dead because…well…I’d be a goner.  We just think if being annoying gave you a great jolting pain maybe you’d quit.  Well….some people might quit anyway.  Others would just learn to live with pain. But I’m digressing here. ) I love that we can look at each other and start laughing because we were both thinking the same thing. I love that we are on the same wavelength most of the time. Gaps filled.

As sleep started to crowd into my head I thought about our lunch and the ride home.   Not a lot of talking.  No agenda to spend “quality time” or solve the world’s problems. Just a quiet time enjoying each other’s company.  We’re just that comfortable together. Our relationship is that strong.  We don’t have to be entertained or cover a montage of marriage building activities. We’re already a team so we can just enjoy being together.  I thought about how much I just like having him around. How his just being who he is makes my life better. I thought about the hundreds of little ways we compliment each other.  The give and take. The stuff we’ve survived and learned from together. The history.  The future. Gaps filled.

This morning as I remembered my husband’s late night question I came to the same conclusion I arrived at right before drifting off last night. Fall apart?  No way.  We’ve got way too much stuff holding us together at the gaps.

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15 responses to “Filling In The Gaps

  1. Valerie says:

    I love that wall decor! 🙂 And a two and a half hour nap?!?! I sit here, jealous….I can’t picture us being empty nesters with all the busyness around here but I know it will one day happen and I’m not worried a bit. I am still smitten (more smitten, actually!) after 14 years! Sweet post. 🙂

    • wedelmom says:

      It’s cool isn’t it? I now have plans for the master bedroom in our new house next summer. 🙂
      The nap was part of his “gap filling.” I was on the verge of melt down so he sent me to bed. 🙂
      We are on the verge of being “half empty”. Scary how fast it happened!

  2. This is beautiful. I sure hope Mr. Wonderful reads your blog!

  3. Janelle says:

    Huge Rocky fans here. Love the quote and your take on it.

    • wedelmom says:

      Life without Rocky – can you imagine?? We quote him a lot at our house. That line has always been one of my favorites and just seemed to fit what was on my mind today.

      • Janelle says:

        We are always shocked when we come across those who have not seen the movies! We feel a great sense of obligation to share the joy.

  4. Oh my gosh!!! This is so beautiful!!! You two are truly blessed to have each other and what a wonderful way of putting it…filling in the gaps!!! Love it!!! Brought tears to my eyes!

  5. javaj240 says:

    Very nice.

    I tell my husband he’s stuck with me, too. No way am I giving him up. I did a lot of work getting him all broken in. No way would I let someone else reap the benefits of all that toil and trouble, LOL!

    Sounds like you had a great weekend!

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