Thursday, August 21, 2014

Lessons from the Beach

Between clashing work schedules, thousands of dollars in dental work, and a noticeable lack of date nights, it was time for a vacation.  Ian and I needed a vacation.  Ian's mother graciously took off work for a week to tend to our little one, as we were in need of shedding the "daddy-mommy" personas to revive the "husband-wife" dynamic.   So, we packed our bags, grabbed two of our good friends, and headed where all poor young couples (should) go: the white sandy beaches of Destin, Florida.

For six carefree days I reveled in the ocean breeze, the salty air, and the crystal clear water.  I munched on crab legs and went parasailing; I sleepily read books by the pool and played a decent round of putt-putt.

Eating the best popcorn shrimp I've ever had at Dewey Destin
There's something about going on vacation with another couple, though.  You get a deeper glimpse into the mechanics of their relationship: the way they interact, that thing one of them finds annoying about the other, and above all how they treat each other. 

I noticed from day one of our trip something Taylor did for Will: before catering to herself she always asked if there was anything he needed.  How long has it been since I've done that? I sheepishly asked myself.  It was then that I realized I had been sorely neglecting one of my main roles as a wife: being my husband's helper. 
The whole gang before our snorkeling excursion
The competitive nature in me knew I had to keep up with Taylor's kindness, or else Ian would quickly realize what he's missing.  So, I began pro-actively making sure Ian wanted for nothing. "Let me get you a drink," and "What can I do for you?", while sounding more like what you hear from a waitress, became my vacation refrains.  I can hear the groans of progressive feminists as I write about my traditional gender role, but I have this to say:  it made my husband noticeably happier which in turn, made me noticeably happier.  Being Ian's helper was not the drag I had been making it out to be; it was actually quite gratifying.

During this time, I also remembered many of the reasons I fell in love with him in the first place, reasons I regretfully don't acknowledge enough anymore.  I have compiled a handful for your reading pleasure: 
admiring my hubby
  • Ian humors me.  If you know me well, you know I need someone who knows how to humor me when I make my trademark ridiculous and irrational statements.
  • He knows how to perfectly blend being goofy, sarcastic, and witty.
  • He almost always reciprocates with calm kindness (or just wisely saying nothing), when I yell at him that I am NOT cheating at putt-putt!!! You can give up after five putts!
  • He is easy on the eyes. After tanning in the Florida sun for a week, he could aptly be described as "tall, dark, and handsome".

Now, our vacation is over.  We have returned to the realities of working, dental work, and parenting a toddler. School looms on the horizon. As we embark on our second year of marriage I am determined to continue forming habits that fall under this "helper" role, not just because he deserves it, but because I am my beloved's and my beloved is mine.

Then the Lord God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him."   
Genesis 2:18

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