Thursday, September 12, 2013

Oh, how he blesses me.

About a month ago, we had a nasty cold pass through here. The night when I was feeling my worst (and unable to take any form of decongestant, or pain reliever that actually works - Tylenol is kind of a joke), I laid in bed in an uncomfortable position, sort of moaning myself to sleep. It's a frustrating thing to have to juggle the conflicting struggles of an uncomfortable pregnant body, and trying to drain clogged sinuses.

I remember Matt having a bunch of stuff to do that night, but he came into our room with a purpose painted on his face, and he plopped down on the bed. He patted my legs and said, "Here, roll over a little," and when I did, he took my feet in his hands and started rubbing. 

There have been times in the past - well, many - where I've been in similar situations, sick and unable to take medicine, since I've been either pregnant or breastfeeding for the last nearly-three years. We've Googled natural ways to relieve congestion and induce sleep so that I can actually rest and try to sleep off various ailments (oh, how I miss you Nyquil and the good behind-the-counter Sudafed!), and one of those methods is to rub certain pressure points on your feet - ya know, reflexology. 

I laid there, eyes closed, feeling the first hints of relief and relaxation as he rubbed his big, warm hands over my feet and sloppily-painted toes (because, let's be honest, mama can't reach them so well at the moment), when his voice broke the silence and I could hear the smile on his face as he said, "you're beautiful."

I laughed as I opened my eyes and I said, "Were your eyes closed, too?"

And he said, "No. I mean it. Even when you're sick and pregnant and blowing your nose every two seconds, I think you're beautiful."

I laughed again - thinking he was trying extra hard to make me feel better or he was kidding himself - or both.

I said, "Thank you, babe, but I don't believe you. It's sweet of you to try and make me feel better, but there is nothing attractive about me at this moment."

He shook his head to dismiss what I said and he replied, "When I look at you, I still see the 19 year old girl I fell in love with. Everything else is just life happening."

He kept rubbing my feet, and though he didn't say anything else, his words kept bouncing around in my head. My eyes closed again as I concentrated on how it felt as he rubbed my feet and how it was effecting the rest of me. The only sound in the room was the fan blowing over us, and he soon coaxed me to sleep with his soothing work on my feet. I felt him cover me up with the blankets and give me a kiss before he turned out the light.

As I fell asleep that night, I kept thinking about how he offered those sentiments up without me giving him any hint as to how much I needed them. I mean, truthfully, the terrible way I felt was the first thing on my mind, but I always kind of have this, "poor Matt," worry in the back of my head when I'm pregnant, and he knows it. He had to have sensed it. And he came to me, not only to help me physically without being asked to, but he offered up some genuine sentiments. What I love most about this moment, and about him in general, is that he doesn't compliment or shmooze halfheartedly. He doesn't just say, "Yeah, you look great" or "Stop it, you're fine" when I'm feeling self-conscious, and he doesn't leave it at just "you're beautiful". When he said "I still see the 19 year old girl I fell in love with," I knew his feelings in that moment were real. He wasn't just saying it. He was just....loving me. Genuinely, unconditionally loving me.

Despite knowing that he feels some sort of pride and admiration for the fact that I incubate his babies for him (seriously, he is insanely attracted to the idea), I worry that he wishes I still WAS that 19 year old girl. Ya know, the one that was consistently 125 pounds, with perky body parts and time to do her hair, and clothes that actually contained her body. And I'm sure that these feelings are really just my own, but I can't help it.

A few weeks later, he had an exhausting day. He woke up entirely too early, and then he had a golf date with his parents to practice for an upcoming father-son tournament, while the temps hit the 90's. He also had a lunch meeting with his co-worker that is from Buffalo (but lives in Charlotte) that was visiting to help his sick mom. And when he was finished with all of that, he had to rush to work for a handful of stressful afternoon meetings. He was so tired when he got home, and he seemed anxious to get the kids to bed. Once they were tucked in their beds, he went outside to water the garden and I laid in bed, physically exhausted, debating over whether to take my shower that night or in the morning.

He joined me after a few minutes, and he laid down behind me, spoon-style. He rested his hand on my hip and kissed my neck & shoulders and said, "I thought about you a lot, today."

"Oh yeah?" I offered.

"Yeah. I had some time when I got to work when my laptop was restarting and I was feeling good and wanted to keep thinking about happy things. So I told myself to think of something good, and I thought about you."

Earlier in the day, just after his golf match, he texted me in very excited fashion saying, "I just played the round my life!!!" and I know that it's kind of ridiculous to swell with happiness, but I did. Blame it on pregnancy hormones, but here's where my head went. I was thrilled for him, because he's been saying he wanted to beat his all-time record this summer, so I had a huge amount of pride for him. I thought it was cute that he was so excited over it (he never uses more than 1 exclamation point, haha). And finally, I was so thankful and happy to be a part of his happiness in that moment, and that he took a few moments to tell me despite having to dash from one thing to the other. He wanted to tell ME. Girl who cares naught about sports and man challenges and golf scores. I smiled as I typed back, "Awesome, babe!! That is so cool!"  And I knew that this would put him in such a great mood - when he achieves something like this, he soars right past happy and straight into euphoric, and it was clear to me that he was there. So when he was telling me how happy he was in the evening, I knew where it had all started, despite his exhausting day.

"I was thinking about you, too, actually," I said.

"What about?" he asked.

"Oh, ya know. How handsome you are. How I love being close to you. I watched a couple movies over the last couple days, and it made me miss you while you were at work," I answered.

And seriously. When I watch movies with a character that even remotely reminds me of Matt, it makes me not only miss him, but feel gratitude for him. I don't know if I can really explain it well, but I'm sure there's some of you out there that get what I mean.

Matt kissed me when I told him this, and he said, "I was thinking about how lucky I am."
I could sense that he was in a mood to share more, and in a loving way at that, but our relationship is sprinkled with humor and at times, self-depreciation for the sake of a laugh, so I said, "What, how your wife is walking around in a fat suit these days and how great it is to see her huffing around and sweaty?"

(The 90 degree, 100 degree heat index we had in July was MURDER on my pregnant body.)

He smiled and his hands roamed over my shoulders, back, hips, and legs as if to prove that none of that bothered him.

"No," he began, through little kisses he was leaving on my tank-top exposed shoulders, "I was thinking about how great I have it with you. When I think about all of my friends and people I know that are my age, I can't think of anyone that has it better than I do."

I looked at him with skepticism in my eyes, and he saw it.

"Seriously," he urged.

"Okay," I conceded. "It's because of my awesome boobs, right?"

He laughed, "Yeah, they factor in." He went on to list a few more physical attributes, which I will spare you from reading. And then he said, "I also can completely be myself with you. I trust you without ever having to question it. I love talking to you, and I just genuinely enjoy spending time with you. You're a great Mom. How many people have all of that?"

I smiled and said, "I feel the same way about you, you know. Only, not about the boobs, because that would be weird if you had those. Seriously, though. You know what amazes me? Not only the fact that you are still so rabidly attracted to me after nearly a decade, but that you still are when I'm this pregnant. You wanna talk about lucky? So many women don't have men that appreciate them like that when they're pregnant. And you don't even notice half of the ugly stuff that happens to me! I mean, when I'm pregnant, I am SO pregnant. Everything crappy that can happen, happens to me."

"Yeah, you do pretty much go right from woman to Mom from the very beginning."

"I know, it's terrible."

"No it isn't. You excel at making healthy babies, and you slide right into your role every time. I wouldn't want it any other way."

"I don't know, baby. This (gesturing to my body), is pretty ridiculous."

"Babe, when I look at you, I see my wife. My beautiful, loving, awesome wife."

Two hours went by while we laid in bed - cuddling, talking, kissing - and there was this one moment when the only dim light that was on in the room highlighted his strong arm, the one I was leaning into, and I studied it while I ran my nails up and down it. Silently I said, "God, please let this moment last forever. Let me keep him. Let me have a whole life of this." As if on cue, Matt's hand reached out to mine, his wedding band brushing against the rings he gave me that are embossed with our children's names, and love pulsed through me. The baby wiggled in my belly as I felt, wholeheartedly, that I am blessed.

1 comment:

  1. What a great story. You are truly blessed. God has given you wonderful gifts. Followed you from SITS. Have a blessed day!