My daily ritual of putting water to boil in my favorite flame red kettle was altered when a vintage electric cook top entered my life. You know, the old coil style that glow orange when hot and is fingernails-on-the-chalkboard black when cool? My nemesis. Really.
Fifteen minutes to get a couple cups of water to boil is a lifetime for a mom heading out the door with kids, a mom who needs that magic potion as a reminder take care of herself more than the caffeine rush. One morning I woke, put the water on and set off to prepare for the day, the whistle flipped up as always to avoid waking a slumbering house.
Creaking wood floors told me my husband was coming down the hall but my ears couldn’t see the empty kettle baked onto the element in his hand until he stood at the bathroom threshold. Yes, I had managed to burn water and bond my favorite kettle to that miserable electric element.
How would you respond if your spouse pulled this off?
Then came laughter. That was my husband’s response.
Beginning to truly study my husband, I’m realizing how even-keeled he is and that I married up.
You know you married up when…
1. Your spouse has the patience of a saint when you have a childlike meltdown. If you find me tired or hungry, you’re probably in for it. I’m not sure if I taught my kids the art of whining, complaining and total meltdowns or if they have refined my skills by sharing their step-up, but it happens. He is patient.
2. Your spouse is willing to give you a reprieve from responsibilities. Breaks. I need them (you do too). It may be an annual weekend of crazy adventure seeking in the Sierras, an impromptu coffee meet-up or run. Whatever it is, I can say, “I need a break” and we figure it out. He’s getting good at predicting this too! Sometimes he tells me to get out and hands me keys (though maybe that has to do with the above).
3. Your spouse can be “tagged-in” for immediate help. Mealtime, bath time, bedtime or “anytime” parents can be caught in that knotted moment when patience is on the last fiber ready to snap. Sometimes he recognizes it and steps in (above) but more often, he responds with lightning speed to my 9-1-1 plea for help. This always makes my heart heavy for solo parents. If you know any, wrap them up and love on them! Watch their kids and give them a break!
4. Your spouse doesn’t berate you when you do that straight-up stupid thing. I have a million stories like burning water in my favorite tea kettle. You might say, I can get distracted…(I wasn’t like that prior to kids). Most recently I didn’t realize I was backing out of the garage with the hatch door up. Yes, that did leave a mark. On the car, on the house, on my ego…he was disappointed, but still calm. Accidents do happen.
5. Your spouse knows when to walk through the door with a consolation prize. Parents g.i.v.e….boy is that an understatement! There are those special days my husband arrives home with a small treat for me. Just me. He knows when I need to be singled out and reminded I too am special to someone.
How do you know you married up? What would you add to the list?
***Clearly I should consider a Keurig style option, but there’s something I appreciate about my antiquated coffee tradition.