He’s gone and done it again. He always does this to me. Just when I get to a point of total frustration and anguish he reminds me of all of the reasons why I am so in love with him. We just got back from our trip to Florida and I have been reflecting on the time there and our interactions with my family.
The drive down was awful, traffic was horrendous and it rained the whole way. We passed 6 car accidents within 10 minutes of driving. It took 12 hours to do a 9 ½ hour drive. I was a wreck the whole way. JR did the entire drive by himself. I read a book to distract myself. He was very patient with me and did his best to help me relax. He knows that I don’t do bad traffic mixed with terrible rain, while driving very well.
We finally arrive at 9pm and my niece (2) and nephew (4) are so excited to see us. They are immediately all over JR. Even though he was exhausted from the drive he jumped right in like a trooper entertaining the kids. My mom, sister and I were cooking dinner and the rest of the bunch decided to get in the pool. JR was busy entertaining the kids, like he always does. We finally sit down to eat and since we had fed the children first they finished up before the rest of us. The boys all got in the pool but my niece has to wait for an adult to go in. She starts whining and complaining to get back in, I look at her and say ask Uncle JR to take you back in. So she does in her sweetest little voice…Uncle JR will you please get in the pool with me. So my sweet husband who hasn’t quite finished his seafood dinner (he had not yet had any of the crawdads that my parents had brought from MS, JR’s absolute favorite.) quickly finished up his last few bites and headed off to the pool with my niece. After dinner we all decided to get in and spent the next hour just enjoying the time together. JR decided to retire around midnight and the girls stayed up for another couple of hours.
While at Disney the next day we had to juggle doing the rides with two toddlers and that can be tricky. My sister’s husband was unable to go so she needed extra help with everything. JR always jumps right in and it’s funny because people always assume that the children belong to he and I. He will handle feeding them and taking them to the bathroom without even being asked. While we were waiting for the fireworks there was music playing and JR had my niece in his arms, he was dancing around and swinging her and she was giggling her little butt off. Those moments absolutely melt my heart.
We invited my cousin who is 15, and lives near my parents, to come along since he had never been to Disney. He and our son get along very well and we knew our son would appreciate having someone his own age to hang with. My cousins family could only afford to pay for his tickets and I had volunteered for us to pay the rest of the cost for him. I forgot to mention this detail to JR and told him in the line to get food at Disney. Since we gave up our biggest contract last summer money has been much tighter for us than we are used to. I worried that he would be ill and he just smiled at me and said it was worth it to keep our son occupied and happy.
The other days went just as well as the first and JR never complains about anything. He always just goes with the flow and never questions what I decide. He rides whatever I suggest and whenever I suggest it. Since we had the little kids this time we did more little kid rides, no complaints from anyone except our son of course, that’s just a teenager for you. We did split up at one point because I felt bad for the older ones. My mom, sister and I stayed with the little ones for a couple of hours and did the kiddie rides.
The last day there we didn’t get to bed until around 1am and JR got up the next morning at 7:30 and drove our oldest daughter to catch her rise to Ft. Lauderdale to visit with friends. With traffic that took him about 2 ½ hours. Again no complaints. He gets back and we load up to head home. My sister is following us so all the stops take a little longer than normal for us. JR was always right there getting the kids out of their carseats, putting them back in, etc. At one stop he decides to buy my nephew some skittles, about 30 minutes later I get a frantic phone call from my sister, “We have to pull over, ______ put a skittle up his nose and it’s stuck.” As we pull over I ask JR to go help her deal with this and he does without question. When he gets to her car, she has started to panic because she can’t see the skittle it’s so far up there. (She has had to take him to the ER for this once before) Now my nephew starts to cry and then she does too. JR tells her to calm down it’s going to be fine. He looks at my nephew and tells him to blow as hard as he can while he plugs up the other nostril. One hard blow and out pops the skittle. He comes back, gets in our car and looks at me and laughs…all in a day’s work as an Uncle. I tell him thank you, and that I love that he knows how to handle these types of situations. He looks at me and says, “I love those babies, I would do anything for them,” and I know that he means that.
Then there are all of the little things he does like, he always puts me away from traffic when we walk down the street or in a parking lot, he always allows me to walk in front of him in a line or into a room…he guides me with his hand on the small of my back, when we went to get on Space Mountain he puts me in the seat ahead of his and says he wants to be able to see me, just incase anything goes wrong…he feels safer with me there. He puts a towel out for me when I get in the bath. He unpacked my toothbrush and charger and plugged it back in for me when we got home. He always puts my cell phone on the charger at night because he knows I always forget to, he brings me water to bed every night because I forget. Some of these things may seem trivial, but what they all mean is that he “takes care” of me. I know that I would miss that terribly if it were gone.
So I guess what I realized this past week is that JR is a truly good, kind, loving, and generous man, and he’s my husband. Spending this time with him, watching him interact with my family and our children was such a reminder of the man that I know and love. Sometimes all of the pain tends to cloud the image I have of my husband. It distorts the image I hold of him. I think I needed this time to see him interact with the people I love the most in the world. He seemed more like himself than I have seen him be in over 3 years. This is what I have prayed for, and those prayers are being answered.
I’m beginning to understand that when I struggle the hardest it really doesn’t have very much to do with JR and how he is now, it’s about me getting caught up in my mind about the past and the affair stuff. When I’m not feeling sad or angry and I examine my life now and how JR interacts with me, he really does give me everything that I want and I need. It’s just that when I sink into a low, nothing seems like enough. In those moments I am inconsolable, probably nothing he did would be enough. That’s when he feels defeated and he tends to shut down some. This is the cycle we have to work on. I think realizing where the problem lies and trying to identify certain triggers is the first step. I guess as long as we both stay committed and know that all we want is a life with each other, then we can’t lose.
So once again, he has reminded me and showed me through his actions, which I prefer over words any day, the man that he truly is. The man that I love with all of my heart.