I once told my husband (fiancé at the time) that – if nothing else – being married to me would NEVER be boring.
My husband, Chris – a lover of Eastern philosophy and the teachings of The Buddha – replied, “You know there’s a Chinese curse that goes, ‘May you have an interesting life.’”
“The worst thing would be to have an uninteresting life. I promise ours will be interesting.” And with that… he was forewarned.
I can be terribly shy in person, which often causes me to babble on endlessly about things… a quality he found endearing on our first date. (He surely didn’t realize at the time how much that nuance he loved would cut in on his future sleep.)
We played paintball, we went snowboarding, I made him go running with me in the rain and jump on the trampoline with me at midnight. I told him it had to be midnight because doing aerial somersaults in the dark was closer to flying than anything, and that if he hadn’t ever jumped on a trampoline at midnight, he hadn’t lived.
I took off to Colorado on my own and texted him back in Iowa that my truck slid into a snow bank… but not to worry because I’d found a nice person with an end-loader to pull my vehicle out of the beautiful powder I love to chase and he loves to hate (my love for snow could ALMOST rival my love for him… not really, but he seems to think so). I told him that I’d gotten stuck at 9am, and the good news was that it was only 12pm and I would still be able to snowboard all afternoon before the lift closed at four. Chris arrived in Colorado shortly thereafter…
On his first day there, I took him up to the peak of Breckenridge. (He had previously snowboarded twice – in Iowa – so of course he was qualified).
When he’d been in Colorado for a week, I made him hike up the East Cliff Wall at Arapahoe Basin. I told him not to worry because there’d been an avalanche a few days prior, and I was quite sure the mountain had gotten avalanches out of its system for the time being. And besides… I’d met the ski patrol dogs the other day, and I really liked them. Not that I wanted to be in an avalanche, but if I WAS so unfortunate to find myself in an avalanche, I can’t think of any nicer dogs I’d like to have dig me out of the snow.
Oh how Chris hated my snowboarding. In the first few months we were dating, I severely bruised my back to the left of my spine and displaced my kneecap – twice – on the same corrugated pipe. I told him that corrugated pipe and I were having a battle, and I was going to win, dammit! After the second displacement of my kneecap, I decided the evil corrugated pipe had the distinct advantage of being made of a more durable material than I was, and called a truce. There were still jumps and boxes.
Chris told me the things I did on my snowboard were dangerous, and he didn’t want me to get hurt. I indignantly replied that injuries are a part of the sport, and that I was fully aware that one day, I would likely break my collarbone — and that was okay with me. Then I dragged him to the terrain park to show him how much better I could jump and spin than the last time he watched. He was not impressed so I bought body armor to use when I jumped and told him I wasn’t actually planning to break my collarbone so he should feel better. He didn’t.
But in Colorado that year, I made a decision to stop doing things on my snowboard that made Chris worry. That’s why we were dropping into rocky chutes in avalanche country. I had given up park riding. Mostly.
Summer came and we found ourselves at a waterpark with a wave pool that generates 8 foot surfing waves. What fun!!! I ran right in and couldn’t wait for the next wave. Until the wave swept someone twice my size into me, and I became trapped underwater with a person sitting on my head. Chris pulled me (coughing and sputtering) from the water. Never a dull moment.
At the amusement park nearby, I asked Chris what his favorite ride EVER was and told him that I loved roller coasters. Chris said his favorite ride was sitting on his meditation cushion. “No comprendo,” I replied. Then we went on a sky coaster.
Chris tried – to no avail – to teach me to meditate. I couldn’t stop giggling at the thought of watching my breath for so long. I couldn’t even see my breath!
The giggling went into full force while I was pregnant with our daughter, Lainey. Just about anything could make me giggle (if you’ve never been on pregnant hormones, it’s a trip). We drove past a stop sign that looked hysterical to me… for ten minutes I was in spasms of laughter thinking about how silly that stop sign was. Laughter is contagious, and Chris found himself laughing, too. There was never a funnier stop sign in all our lives.
A few nights later, I awoke in fits of laughter at a dream I’d been having about a crocodile falling out of the sky. Chris awoke and thought I was in labor. When he realized I wasn’t, he tried to go back to sleep. I kept him awake as I giggled for another half hour about that crocodile.
When I did go into labor, my epidural tried to kill me. It decided to go up my spine, too, instead of just down. My upper body was experiencing paralysis and I was having major trouble getting my lungs to inhale. Chris (who was in the delivery room for the first time – she was my third child and his first) watched as the anesthesiologist turned the epidural off and the nurse placed an oxygen mask on his wife. I lived so it wasn’t that bad.
When I was pregnant with our son, Tristan, a year later, Chris asked if he had to be in the delivery room this time around. He said the last time had been really hard on him. Since — in my opinion — that was not actually a question, I gave him a death glare. I’m really good at death glares.
When I went into labor with Tristan, Chris refused to wake up. “Chris! I’m having the baby! These contractions hurt REALLY bad!”
“That sounds like a personal problem,” Chris grumbled in his sleep. I whacked him in the shoulder. “WAKE UP!”
Lainey and Tristan were born 15 months apart. No epidurals attacked me during the birth of Tristan, although Chris almost missed Tristan’s birth. I will give him the benefit of the doubt in believing that he wasn’t trying to miss Tristan’s birth on purpose…
In 3 years, Chris went from bachelordom to husband and father of four (my 2 sons and our 2 new babies). I kept good on my promise that our life would be interesting. Did he ever doubt it?
The other night before I went to bed, I was watching “Lord of the Rings” with the oldest of our 4 children (Devin, who is 12 at present). At 3 am, Tristan (five months) started to fuss. I was dreaming, of course, (I’m always dreaming) as I heard Chris’ far off voice. “Sorry Tristan’s waking you up again. I know you’re really tired.”
Still half asleep, I began to mumble… “That’s okay. Feeding Tristan is much easier than leading Frodo through Middle Earth… and I’m quite happy to have a reprieve from fighting Orcs. They’re terribly nasty creatures and I’ve about had it with them. If I have to kick one more of their ugly, grimy carcasses out of my way… would you just hold my sword for a moment so I can feed our baby?”
Chris laughed. I’m sure he rolled his eyes as well — though my eyes were closed and still scanning the Mines of Moria for stray Orcs (good thing Tristan woke me before the Balrog showed up!)
When my husband imagined being entertained in the middle of the night by his wife, he probably wasn’t thinking it would involve her battling Orcs…
Chris is the calm strength to my enthusiasm and creativity. (He’s also the more logical one — but like I’m going to tell HIM that!) We’re yin and yang, complimenting each other perfectly. Chris still loves to sit on his meditation cushion, but has grown accustomed to my love of – what would you call it – interestingness???
And we have experienced many things together, but a shortage of interestingness isn’t one of them!!!
Whoever you aspire to be, wherever you go, whatever you dream, however your definition of “interesting” sounds…
May you be BLESSED with an interesting life! And may you be EQUALLY BLESSED with wonderful people to share it with!