Do you like surprises? I LOVE surprises. Always have.
One of the coolest surprises I’ve experienced in my adult life are the things that make you feel loved. You know, like really loved. Like how you imagine that girl feels in the movies when the guy takes her hand, or meets her in the middle of a field and professes his undying love, or brings her flowers when she’s stuffy and sick.
When I imagined being married and experiencing things that really made me feel loved… I probably thought of candlelight dinners, snuggling, dancing to soft music in the living room, holding hands while we drove down some random road. But after being married for even only a year or so, I realized that it was totally different things that really made me feel loved.
We became pregnant very soon after we were married. There were a lot of reasons that this was exciting, but one of them for me was the chance to finally wear maternity clothes! I had been waiting my whole life! Seriously, I was the girl that would always look at the maternity section first in catalogs and daydream about browsing through maternity stores when I passed them in the mall. A little weird maybe, but that was me. Little by little, I began to pick up pieces; but one day, I found IT. The cutest blue maternity dress ever. At Target. Ridiculously priced. But that was okay because my sweet brother had given me a gift card. Happy sigh.
Okay, I can tell you’re needing some help picturing how cute this dress was. It was a solid blue; smoky, pearly, grayish, very wonderful medium blue. Knee-length with a pretty collar and buttons all the way down. Classy, but cute. (No elastic anywhere!) And… it had this awesome blue belt for right above the belly. I love belts! I love bows! I love knots! I couldn’t wait to get home and try it on for Paul.
And that’s the end of happy Act 1. Let’s just say, the dress looked great; the belt looked horrid. But maybe I was just doing it wrong. It had to work, it was so cute! I tried everything I could think of and it all looked awful.
So I went to Paul with downcast heart and mopey face. I explained my frustration and how I just couldn’t get it right.
Then he started trying. Yes, him.
He tied it in the front. He tied in the back. He tied it on the side. And for good measure on the other side, too.
He tied it in a bow. He tied it in a knot.
He tied it above, below, and across my belly.
And somewhere in the middle of all that… I began to feel really loved.
At first, embarrassed. Then worried that I was taking too much of his time. But then I looked at his face, all concentrated. And I knew that he cared.
Something that was so small, so ridiculous, so impossibly removed from the important matters of the world, mattered to him in that moment. He gave me his time and creativity and didn’t make me feel even slightly silly.
We never did figure it out.
I ended up wearing the dress without the belt and it was just as cute. Paul doesn’t remember this happening; even though I’ve told him about it three or four times since then. But I don’t think I’ll ever forget.
What a surprise, that you’re husband fooling with getting your belt to look right for fifteen minutes could make you feel so loved.
But it did. And I love him.