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John Cave Osborne is a writer whose work has appeared on such sites as Babble, TLC, YahooShine, and the Huffington Post. He was also referenced by Jezebel one time, but he’s pretty sure they were making fun of him. While he’s name dropping, it’s only fair to point out that Ashton Kutcher tweeted one of John’s YouTube videos, but it may have only been because Ashton felt sorry for him. After all, John went from carefree bachelor to father of four in just 13 months thanks to marrying a single mom, then quickly conceived triplets. Since then, he and his wife have added one more to the mix, a little boy they named Grand Finale. They all live chaotically in Knoxville, TN with Briggs the dog.

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The Romantic Getaway That Got Bumped and the Fight That Ensued

By John Cave Osborne |

Only our romantic fires use real, um, wood.

Well, fight might be a bit strong. Because my lovely wife and I don’t really fight. We bicker. But the romantic getaway part is right on the money. Because that’s exactly what we had on the books. A romantic getaway. We need a break, y’all. Alone. Away from our five offspring and their various demands.

See, I’m a trickle-down guy. I genuinely believe that my number one earthly commitment isn’t to my children, but rather to my wife. Before all you helicopter-types gasp in indignation, ponder this:

By putting my spouse first, I’m also putting my children first. Because it’s in their best interest for the union which directs them during their first 18 years of life to be a loving one. Plus, that love trickles down, or so I would contend, and therefore a parent who puts his spouse first is able to love his children even more effectively.

Anyway, regardless of ideologies, Caroline and I had a wonderful getaway planned — two nights at a cabin in the mountains. We’d sandwich a hike up to Mount LeConte and back along the famous (and somewhat difficult) Alum Cave Trail on the day in between. And we couldn’t wait.

But then Grand Finale went from a routine checkup to the emergency room in a terrifying blink of an eye. What ensued was a three-night, four-day stay at this delightful place near campus called Children’s Hospital. Grand Finale was finally released last Friday, about an hour or so before Caroline and I were scheduled to head to the mountains.

We obviously didn’t go. And that weekend I vacillated between selfless Daddy who was relieved that his baby was okay and selfish husband who was bitter he wasn’t on his much needed getaway spending romantic time with the love of his life. Is that so wrong? To have such a selfish thought?

Caroline didn’t think it was so wrong per se. But whenever selfish husband opined she did take the liberty of telling him “you’re being a dick.” Hard to argue, especially when the selfless Dad agreed with her.

Though more diplomatic than I, Caroline would still wholeheartedly agree with this: losing our weekend was quite a blow to our psyche. Simply put, life with three toddlers and an infant is kicking our ass right now. And it’s not like we’re not accustomed to tough times. Triplet infants weren’t exactly a walk in the park. Still, nothing has compared to the past few weeks which, even before Grand Finale’s situation, included 10 doctors appointments, a trip to the ER and two tired 40-something parents slogging their way through a seemingly endless succession of sleep deprived days amidst squeal-induced noise levels which border on cruel and unusual punishment.

So it went without saying that we’d reschedule our getaway. But, given our dynamic, it’s kinda hard to schedule such weekends. First off, half of them are eliminated because we won’t go on the weekends we have my stepdaughter. We already spend too many without her, so we’ll only schedule such outings when she’ll be at her dad’s.

But also, there’s only one person we feel comfortable leaving the other four kids with for such an extended period of time. And she’s quite busy. So when we went back to the drawing board to reschedule, we knew that it might be a while before our schedules would line up. But we were still hopeful that maybe we’d be surprised.

And we were — at how long it would be until we could reschedule.

“December 16th and 17th? That’s the first time ?” I said in disbelief.

“Yep. So whaddya say, should I call the lodge?”

“Yes,” I concluded before realizing something.

December 16th is smack dab in the middle of the holiday season. And that’s a tough stretch, one during which Caroline and I always lament how much there is to do and how little time there is to do it in. So running away for 48 hours during that time hardly seemed practical. And I told her just that.

“Fine,” she said snippily. “I’ll book the next weekend that works. See you February 24th.”

And that was it, really. Not a fight, per se, but a disagreement. She’s all mad I’m not down with December (but I’m telling you, she’s gonna thank me when that weekend rolls around…) and I’m all bummed that it’ll be five months until I get some alone-time with my wife.

But, on the flip side, we’re going to step up the frequency of our dates between now and then. In fact, we just had one two nights ago. And it was awesome. Not 48 hours of awesome. But three hours of awesome.

And three hours alone with my incredible wife is nothing to snub your nose at.

SO, quick question: what do you think about my assertion that our number one priority should be our spouse? And, chime in on the December thing, too, if you have an opinion on that. Am I an idiot for nixing that weekend? Or an unsung visionary who’ll be proven right when the time comes?

Image courtesy of scui3asteveo via Creative Commons

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About John Cave Osborne

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John Cave Osborne

John Cave Osborne is a writer whose work has appeared on such sites as Babble, TLC, YahooShine, and the Huffington Post. John went from carefree bachelor to father of four in just 13 months after marrying a single mom, then quickly conceived triplets. Since then, they have added one more to the mix, a little boy they named Grand Finale. Read bio and latest posts → Read John's latest posts →

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15 thoughts on “The Romantic Getaway That Got Bumped and the Fight That Ensued

  1. Tyrone M. says:

    All things aside…it’s always our fault. Even when we’re trying to be logical and reasonable, we still get dinged. Sorry good sir.

  2. Kristin says:

    Number one priority = spouse? Absolutely. For all the reasons you gave!

    December 16-17? Ugh. So complicated. I can see your side and hers on this one.

    More frequent nights out just the two of you? Fantastic. Go with that…forever!

  3. SarahB says:

    I totally agree with you on the spouse thing–and, in your defense, I think articulating that you were disappointed not to get that weekend is fine, even in the face of the hospital visit. There’s a fine line between whining and articulating, however. Like, razor thin. I think it’s sweet Caroline wanted the earliest weekend available, though I get the point about the holidays being a bad time too.

  4. Sophie says:

    I’m totally with you on putting your spouse first. Without the love between the two of you, there would be no kids. And I’m sure they will fare much better being away from the two of you for 48 hours than always being with only one of you (i.e. once you get a divorce because you lost yourselves in your children).

  5. robin says:

    Couldn’t have said it better myself. Sounds like you have your priorities straight and your kids are lucky to have you as parents.

  6. linda says:

    I agree with you on the spouse comes first. I agree with you on the whole thing. With 4 babies it would be hard to get away that close to Christmas.

  7. Beth says:

    Totally on board with putting your spouse first. It’s worked for us for 25 years and I’ve seen many many marriages fail in that time. I’ve also seen marriages where the kids were put first and then when the kids leave the nest, there’s no connection left between the spouses. On the December thing, for 11 years running, we have gone to the Grove Park in Asheville on the weekend before Christmas. It’s like a little slice of heaven for the two of us. Everything is done at home in preparation for Christmas and we can go and relax and just be together. We don’t shop or get in the crowds and it’s blissful. Of course, we only have 2 kids so it’s not as hard to get away but maybe you could re-think it.

  8. Patrick (yeah, that one) says:

    Spouse first? Perfectly fine with that. I think your reasons for doing that are spot on as well.

    The week before Christmas? I think that’ll be tough. It’d be tough to head out on that weekend, but at the same time, it’d probably be a very welcome break, if it worked out. That said, a week or so after Valentine’s Day isn’t a bad time. The only problem for the two of you is how long it’ll be til that rolls around. And how frazzled you’ll be by then!

    Enjoy your date nights, and have them as often as you can for your own piece of mind. :-)

  9. Juli says:

    Sound reasoning through and through.

  10. sara says:

    Agree 100% that spouse comes first. No question.

  11. Lo says:

    O yes, Daddy is Nr 1 here too…but unfortunately for us we absolutely can not think of being for 48 hours without our two babes. At least you’ll have a shot at December 16-17, we do have that opportunity….in 2020.

  12. CC says:

    If you’re a responsible enough husband that you’d even bring up your concern about the December date, and she’s frazzled enough to be disappointed she’s not going, knowing it’s so close to Christmas, and iyour number one commitment really is to your wife, then go in December my friend. Sounds like she’s perfectly willing to work her butt off before and after to make Christmas happen. And it sounds like you’re more than willing to put in the extra effort to make it happen. It’s only October. Book December and start the Christmas planning now!! :-) Better yet, book the babysitter and the cabin for the December and February dates (If you can afford it). Imagine how it will feel feel for you and your wife, leaving that cabin after a relaxing weekend, looking forward to the holidays coming up (that you’ve already mostly prepared) and knowing that you’ll be back in 2 months! :-) (my 2 cents, take it or leave it

  13. Laura says:

    I say go for the December thing. With all the craziness of Christmas, I think it would be a good time to recharge. As for being able to get everything done, you’ll just have to make an effort to cut back or DEAL with it.

  14. Chunky Mama says:

    My husband comes first too. It is absolutely in my kids’ best interest for their parents to be happy and well taken care of.

    And, you were wrong about December.

    Saying you’re willing to put off your alone time for 3 additional months for the sake of convenience was probably a slight blow to her ego and might explain the snappish reply. But probably, she just needs the break even more than you do, and a few relaxing days might have actually HELPED her cope with the holiday stress.

  15. Anne says:

    I agree with you 100% about putting the spouse first (in the way that you mean it–some people take that to mean that whoever they are coupled with that day is the person around whom their lives revolve and I’m not OK with that), and about December. I would like to caution you NOT to say, “I told you so” when that busy pre-holiday weekend rolls around, or you might (should?) be called a bad word again.

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