Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Are You Cereus?

Last night I encountered another one of those moments when I realize just how different my husband and I are. I had so many things planned for my evening. I was going to finish cleaning and pricing toys for a sale, post an entry on this very blog, work on an article I'm submitting for publication, and maybe do some cleaning (okay, knitting!)--all of this after folding and putting away laundry, cleaning up the supper dishes, and getting the kids to bed. At least, this was my plan.

In the midst of the kids' teeth-brushing and the putting on of pajamas, Kevin mentioned that our friends Josh and Katie were going to be stopping by a little later to watch the flower bloom. Huh?, I thought. I had forgotten that Kevin's night-blooming cereus, a strange organism that makes its bloomin' debut only once a year and in the middle of the night, was due to flaunt its stuff that very evening. "Okay," I said, thinking I might actually get more stuff done since he would be out on the porch with Josh and Katie.

A few minutes later, Josh and Katie showed up, and the kids--not yet in bed--got all excited. Still we managed to get the muchkins down, and I headed back to my chores while the other grown-ups headed to the exhibit outside. (In case you're wondering, Josh and Katie knew about the flower because Kevin sent out an e-mail to some folks about it. Only one other person responded, and he said he'd probably spend the evening reading his dictionary instead.) Content to wipe down the kitchen table and make price tags for our gently-used toys, I got to my duties.

And then Kevin came back inside.

He looked at me with those tender hazel eyes of his--the ones I so often neglect to simply gaze into, the ones that speak more love to me than any others--and asked me to please come out and join them in observing this special moment. He promised to help me finish my work the next day, although he had already done so much to help me clean up the house that afternoon (He was thinking ahead!). After an "Are you serious?" look followed by an explanation of all that I had to do--which did not include flower-gazing--, I reluctantly . . . very reluctantly . . . agreed to join them. Of course, I had to finish pricing those last few items before I could really release myself from my task-orientedness for the night.

Once I got myself to the back porch, it took me several minutes to become fully-engaged in relaxation. I get so worked up when I'm on mission! I went ahead and admitted to Josh and Katie that I was out there because my husband wanted me to be (Nothing against them.). "This is why we married each other," I told them. "He makes me stop and watch the flowers bloom, and I help him get things done." Kevin agreed.

The evening turned out to be really nice, of course. And I was glad Kevin made me stop what I was doing, of course. The flower really was remarkable; the company was enjoyable; the conversation was interesting and fun; and my soul was thankful. Oh yeah--and we had cheesecake!


Anonymous said...

I can so relate to your 1st paragraph...it seems like there's so much I try to cram into those few hours at night when Matt is here to help with the kids or after they go to bed and it's the only time I have in the day with no interruptions. However, I often feel guilty about not spending the time with Matt, which is why my house is never clean, laundry is never put away until there's 2-3 more loads to fold, toys are on the floor, etc. But it's those quiet moments when we can remember what it was like when it was just us that are so nice. There's always tomorrow for chores, right? Love the blog by the way!


Anonymous said...

I was really glad you decided to take the time to come out and talk to us. Not that we would have been upset if you didnt because we know you are busy, but it was good company. And the cheesecake made it even better!


JB said...

This makes me miss you guys. You two are definitely a pair -- a match made in heaven. Where in the hck did he get this flower and how does a MAN know about such things?!!

Carrie Partridge said...

Missy--It definitely sounds like we relate! :) I really do have to constantly remind myself that there will, in fact, ALWAYS be chores. (Sigh) It's hard to keep my priorities straight sometimes.

Katie--I'm so glad I joined y'all, too! Thanks for stopping by. And Josh is right--you don't always have to call first. :)

Janna--Kevin and his brother are both into growing plants and flowers and things, unlike myself. This particular crazy plant is one that Jerrod had, and he cut off a piece for Kevin to root last year. Jerrod actually has about 14 blooms on his this year; we just have the one. When Jerrod's opened up last year, though, Kevin set up his video camera to record all night long. So when you play it (in a GREATLY sped-up version), you can see just how amazing the whole opening and closing process is. Anyway . . . thanks for your sweet words. We miss y'all, too!!!

lcraft said...

Excellent story - although I have no idea what mean by being opposite from one's spouse. Baine and I are just so much alike, and it makes for such constant peace and agreement between us. :)

On a different note, once this plant has grown enough to spare part of itself, I totally want a piece so I can experience this phenomenon.

John Grice said...

You know, the milling around comment reminds me of Dema. Remember how he would walk around the bookstore with a packing slip? It "looked" like he was working, but not really doing anything. He just had an official document in his hands.