For Valentine's Day, Brock whisked me away to a condo in the mountains, complete with a private hot tub.
Now before you get all "OH MAH GAH, HE IS SO SWEET" and "SHE IS SUCH A LUCKY BITCH" on me, let me give you the back story.
The important details are always in the back story.
I'm the planner in the house. The thinker, if you will. Sometimes it feels like everyone in my family is blissfully experiencing an easy life that I have planned, organized and facilitated for them. This makes me uptight. And cranky. So when Brock asked me what I wanted for my birthday last year, I told him that I wanted him to plan and organize a getaway for the two of us. A trip that was not created by me. I wanted to go somewhere that I could actually RELAX and just... be.
I'm pretty sure Brock heard, "If man make reservation, man get laid."
About five days before my birthday, he walked into the freshly mopped kitchen with muddy boots on his feet and a sly smile stretched across his face. I was busy cooking dinner, unloading the dishwasher, and taming the excessively loud and rambunctious children.
He said, "I reserved a room in the mountains for you birthday." Then he stood up tall, waiting for my approval.
I looked up from under my furrowed brow and asked, "Oh yeah? Who is watching the kids? Who is taking care of the animals? It's not like we have family around. An overnight sitter will cost us a lot of money. Can we even afford this? Also, this house is trashed. I can't have someone staying in here without cleaning it, and that will take at least three days. You can't even see the floor in the boys room."
He said, "Well, I thought that you could make some calls and hire someone."
What I heard is, "Me book room. Me get laid. HAPPY BIRTHDAY HONEY. Reward me!!!!"
I thoroughly explained to him how his "planning" wasn't meeting my expectations, as nothing was actually organized. I used the phrase "dropping the ball." Then I told him to cancel the reservation, although I briefly considered using it for MYSELF for some much needed alone time. Then I think I told him to shove it or something equally lady-like and loving.
For an entire year, we have had access to this pre-paid room in the mountains. I wondered when he would muster up the courage to offer it again. He decided to try again on Valentine's Day. He informed me an entire two weeks ahead of time. I said, "Okay. But if this is truly the gift you are claiming it to be, then YOU ARE DOING IT ALL. You make the calls, you get the sitter, you figure out the boys' schedules. You make it happen.... and I will pack the snacks and our clothes."
Everyone knows that I pack the best snacks.
He said okay and I refused to let myself worry about it. It was difficult, but I did not give it a thought. I wanted him to earn my trust. And I really just wanted to relax and think about the mountains. In fact, it was more than a desire. It was A NEED.
The night before we were slated to leave, I went out with a few girlfriends for a birthday celebration. I arrived home just before 11 and asked if he had everything lined up. I was honestly confident that he would. Apparently I am insane.
He informed me, "I was just texting the sitter, trying to figure out how to get Thing 1 off the bus."
My blood pressure skyrocketed, "Just now? At 11 o'clock at night? Twelve hours before we are leaving? And there is a 40 minute gap between our six year old getting off the bus and the time the sitter can get here? And you think this is fine? REALLY? Do you think our six year old can hang out ALONE for 40 minutes?"
He said, "We're working it out."
At fucking 11 o-clock at night? I mentally tallied the cost of a divorce. It didn't look good.
I told him how to solve the problem and, through gritted teeth, told him to stop texting and actually CALL the sitter. Then I went to bed. Seething. Again.
Marriage is fucking hard sometimes. Especially when you feel as if you're the only one with your head in the game. My husband would claim the same thing if you asked him.
Through the miracle of actual conversation and specific instructions from the fire breathing dragon that had put herself to bed, yet laid there all night, unable to sleep, the scheduling problem was eliminated.
We left town only an hour behind schedule and reached our mountain destination. It was lovely. It was private. It was child free. It was so... quiet.
I flipped up the heat, turned on the fireplace and made us some decaf to serve with the cookies that I packed. We settled into the living room and took a breath. Then we took a few more. We watched the wind blow the Ponderosa Pines, we listened to the fire, and we... passed out.
We sat in that room for three hours. In and out of consciousness. In silence. Like a couple of narcoleptics.
I forced myself to leave my warm spot on the couch, curled my hair and applied some red lipstick. Brock had made a reservation for dinner! We met our friends at my favorite restaurant across town. We ate delicious food. We laughed and chatted. Then suddenly, the exhaustion from the night before and the last 6 1/2 years of non-stop, rarely a break, parenting consumed me. I hit a wall of tired. My body ached. It was literally painful to keep my eyes open. We excused ourselves back to the room and climbed into the hot tub, where we promptly.... fell asleep. Brock helped me out of the tub and we made our way to the bedroom, where my bag was packed with excitement and whispers of sexy time. I climbed into bed and.... passed out.
Because I know romance.
It's how I do.
We had to check out late morning the next day, but we did find some time to properly "unwind".
When we were leaving, we stopped by our friend's place to say goodbye. My girlfriend asked how I was feeling.
"Much better," I said.
She said, "You were so drunk last night that your eyes weren't tracking right. Seriously, you were looking in two directions at once."
I laughed and said, "I had one glass of champagne. I was sober."
Then we both cringed. It's one thing to look heinous when your three sheets to the wind, but to do it completely sober is another problem all together.
After 24 child-free hours, regardless of the pre-trip stress, I did feel somewhat refreshed. Brock and I shared some laughs and uninterrupted conversation. I hoped to no longer appear stoned, angry or drunk.
We returned home to pay the sitter, plan dinner and shuffle the kids. After hugs and "I missed you", I immediately started on laundry, cleaning, and meal planning, and the kids immediately started misbehaving. They haven't stopped since. Neither has the laundry... or the cleaning... or the eye twitching. I no longer have the privilege of narcolepsy, but I feel closer to my husband and hopeful that our future holds more spontaneous napping... and other things.