I was given a kitchen pass last night. Or a hall pass. Or general waiver. Call it what you will, my husband gave me a pass that I didn’t deserve but that I appreciated long after it was granted.
I’ve been sad for a few days. Not for any reason, just a little down. Unfortunately, that makes me less than an ideal wife and mom. And I’d really been short with the kids during dinner. They are in a terrible fit-throwing phase that is kicking my butt, and I’d been surrounded by it all weekend. So when the milk spilled and the fork was used as a comb, I just lost it. Bray tried to diffuse the situation, but I was fried.
After the kids had gone to bed, I went to our bedroom. He came in later and asked what was wrong. Have you ever been asked that question, and you know something is off, but you just can’t put your finger on it? Well, that was me last night. All I could come up with in response was, “I’m sad.” And he said the simplest, most generous thing in response, “That’s okay. We all get that way sometimes.” He could have said a lot of other things in response. Things like snap out of it, or that doesn’t give you a right to flip out with the kids, or what are you sad about – everything is fine, or let me fix it. But instead, he gave me a pass. Full fledged acceptance of my condition which allowed me to be sad without having to explain it or justify it or apologize for it. He didn’t have to do it. Lord knows he doesn’t always get a pass from me. It was the kindest thing he could have done.
When people are struggling in their marriage they are told to remember the reasons why they fell in love in the beginning. Sometimes it’s nice to remember those reasons even when your marriage isn’t struggling. Today, I remembered one of the reasons. During our first date, Bray asked me kind, thoughtful questions. When he found my parents divorced when I was 12, he had asked me how I had handled that given how hard it must have been for me at that age. Honestly, I’d never had anyone care before. He was thoughtful in December 2003, and eight years later nothing has changed.
Marriage can be hard, but it can also be the biggest blessing on the planet. I needed somebody last night to give me a pass and my kind husband did just that.