Someday you will walk into the kitchen just as your spouse is putting your clean dutch oven back on the cook-top, handles facing 10 and 4 and cover askew and you will wonder how you are even married, and you'll know it's time to run away together. So you'll text your dear babysitter who is also a nurse, and therefore a dynamo at dispensing meds. You'll tell her to let you know the very second she has a few nights off in a row. She will. Meanwhile you will order the most amazing pair of heels and some new books.
They will come and you will totter down the hall wearing them, the heels, not the books, and you will feel like a drag queen on open mic night. But your husband will declare them the sexiest shoes he's ever seen so into the suitcase they will go. And you will take off.
You'll check into your suite like you aren't holding a suitcase full of leisurewear and a blanket because all you really want is a long nap. It will take until approximately four bites into your burger at Lux before you will look across the table at your love, eyes soft and heart remembering why you chose each other all those years ago. You'll think for a second about the things you've lived in those years and how you would not have weathered those storms, would possibly not even have survived them, had he not been holding your hand. Had you not been doin' this knock-your-socks-off-head-over-heels-lunatic life together.
Man, this will be the good stuff.
Those three days? They won't be long enough, not by a long shot, but they will be repeated winter after winter until your beloved hotel starts to upgrade you to bigger suites on floors high enough to catch glimpses of Lake Michigan. Eventually they will get so big that you’ll turn to your spouse and say, hey we could probably fit all the kids in here and save some money. Maggie, our smallest child, can sleep in that drawer and the other kids can have the closet. And then we both crack up.
Kids would totally ruin it, that’s the point, man. Because as much as you love the life that Father has set you into, you will live for these little adventures, just you two. Someday all the babies will be independent and no one will need you every blessed minute of the day and you imagine then having longer, more exotic escapes (by then, will you even need them?), but for today this is enough.
Three nights makes the difference between putting on your oxygen mask and breathing deep with your love and gasping for air in the chaos of your life, which is what you do most days. And so you resolve, no matter how hard the scheduling part of it is, and despite how hard the kids beg you for them to come too,
this is self care that must be done annually at least.
Because it was you two before it was you eight with two dogs, two horses and a keloid scar named Steve and someday it will be you two again, Lord willing, so this nurturing of you? It’s survival. It’s the vaccine to prevent not knowing what to do with each other when the kids have moved out, which is a disease you very much don’t want to catch. So depress that plunger, sister, and run away with your love for a few days of together, or even one night. Vaccinate yourself against relational boredom, which can lead to straying, which will kill you.
The only escape hatch is the one you jump through together for a few nights in a fancy hotel so you can remember why you said those words 24 years ago.
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