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The Romantic Getaway That Got Bumped and the Fight That Ensued

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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