Letters to Luthien

Letters to My Future Bride

TOGWD: Time Off

Dear Darling,

No matter how wonderful our life will be together, no matter how much we love each other or our children, there comes a time when everyone needs some time away. Life will stack up in all the wrong ways, and you’ll need a break before you break.

I can’t promise I’ll always see those times coming. I can’t promise I won’t have my own frustrations and struggles that blind me to yours. But I can promise that when I do, I’ll intervene on your behalf. I’ll take that screaming baby out of your hands and tell you to go outside and take a break. I’ll see the frantic glaze over your eyes if the house is messy and the kids are arguing and you’re working over a hot stove with hair stringing in your eyes. Though you’ll feel like it’s your fault and your responsibility, I’ll order you to stop and go breathe somewhere. Just breathe. I got this. You’ll come back and (I hope!) the kids will be calmed,the pasta is served and maybe even the dishes washed, depending on how much time you took to breathe. I hope you’ll feel better, and grateful, and I dearly hope I can earn your admiration by having restored order and given you a moment’s peace.

There’ll be days even I’ll get on your nerves. Maybe I’ll be home too much. Maybe I’ll be gone too much. Maybe my political work will get the better of me and I’ll suddenly realize I’ve neglected you for a few days. I’ll call a time-out on work and spend a day with you. We can just have an all-day date together, sleeping in, going to the zoo, going sledding, going to a movie, going to dinner. We can cook together in the kitchen, or grab a picnic basket and head for the hills. We can light some candles, and turn off the lights. We can turn some music, and each other, on as we dance in candlelight.

There’ll be days where life just stacks up for both of us. We both approach the breaking point, and need a retreat. That’s when I’ll suggest we take a weekend trip, or even just an overnight. I’ll find tickets to a show a few hours’ drive away, or a concert. Or we can just throw a tent and some sleeping bags in the truck and rough it. (And when I say rough it…) Maybe we can just overnight to New York City. Or some night when you’re thinking about dinner, I’ll say “you know what I’d like? Dinner at Delmonico’s.” And you’ll laugh and say “yeah, right.” And I’ll say “I’m serious.” “But that’s in New York City!” And I’ll shrug and say so? We’ll go check airline prices, and you’ll laugh incredulously as I tell you go to pack a bag, we’re spending the night in New York. I can be spontaneous that way, and I’m working towards earning enough that it won’t be a wasteful or frivolous use of our resources.

I’m trying to be aware. I’m trying to anticipate, because the experts all say wonderful things, even marriage, can eventually wind up taken for granted. I love you and miss you so much right now it hurts, and it’s hard to imagine that. But I’m trying to think with my head, not my heart. I’m trying to understand that you and I won’t always be on cloud nine of perfection, that sometimes love has to be intentional.

I’m trying to be aware that occasionally, time away from me is one of the best ways to show you I love you. And if in the end I’m big and dumb and clueless, just wave the flag (or smack it across my face) and tell me you need a time out.

Like I said. Sometimes love has to be intentional.


February 2, 2013 - Posted by | Things Other Guys Won't Do

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