Can I dispense a bit of marriage advice?
Know when to stay silent.
Yesterday after church I hit a wall. After two weeks of partying with house guests, followed by a week of single parenthood while Taylor helped his brother celebrate graduation from college, there was some pretty serious cumulative sleep deprivation in my life. Then I forgot to pack a snack for church, which, for someone who is nursing and seems to have blood sugar issues, is kind of a big deal. After teaching Gospel Doctrine I was spent and about halfway through Relief Society I just wanted to pass out. My tailbone hurt from those darn chairs, my head ached. My sore wrist was sorer. I was done. When we pulled into the garage I turned to Taylor and said, “I just need to go take care of myself.” I pounded a plate of traditional Sunday nachos and went to bed.
It was a pretty crummy nap. I could hear the boys fight, whine, and scream. And I could hear sweet Taylor wash dishes and cook dinner. When I finally peeled myself out of bed, Taylor announced, “We’re going on a picnic.” He’d grilled chicken and veggies for a pasta salad, made homemade dressing, and chilled San Pellegrinos. As I fed Clara, I watched him grab cornmeal and peaches out of the pantry and, in what looked exactly like an episode of Chopped, whip up an upside down peach polenta cake in a matter of minutes. I helped change diapers and find shoes and we were off.
I thought we were going to a local park or something, but Taylor wound down and around and out of town and on and on and on. Where in the heck was he going, I wondered? My headache was still around, I was starving again, and the roads were windy. I closed my eyes and tried not to feel like barfing. As the boys started to complain about the long drive, I felt like chiming in with a “Seriously, Taylor, why didn’t you tell us we were going to drive an hour? I should have brought a snack.” or an “I wish we could have just stayed home.”
But experience stopped me.
If I had said something nasty because I was temporarily uncomfortable, it would have broken Taylor’s heart and ruined our whole day. Can you imagine if I had sassed the man who just let me nap while he took care of the whole family and packed up a delicious gourmet picnic?! It would have altered the whole dynamic. Taylor would have felt unappreciated, I would be trying to apologize and regretting my words. Instead, I sucked it up and silently tried to appreciate the forest we were driving through.
The picnic by the Applegate River did not disappoint. It was lovely. Roger said the prayer, in which he thanked Heavenly Father that families can be together forever. In between bites of pasta, Carter adorably begged for more ‘doda’ (soda). The boys played tag and Pooh Sticks. Taylor lashed together a little Huck Finn raft out of sticks and grass and they watched it float down.
When Blaine fell in the river we knew it was time to go.
I was a little blah all evening and even fell asleep halfway through the Project Runway we were catching up on. And I’m wearing one of Grandma Tillie’s housecoats as I write, so I’m not entirely out of my bluesy, tired funk. But I’m pleased with myself for staying silent. Too many couples engage in too many arguments over silly things that never should have been voiced.
In my humble opinion. (It’s my blog. I can dole out advice if I want.)