He Told Me So . . .

I'm a pretty awesome wife. I don't nag much, and I didn't blame Neil or enact violence upon him during my two labors and two c-sections. I don't get mad at him for not reading my mind and that time he told me I looked fat in a pair of pants? (I didn't ask - honest!) I just mocked him in a blog post instead of raging out and forcing him to sleep on the couch. And then I got rid of the pants.

But the one wifely area where I really fall short (yes, there are several, but one blog post at a time!), is the "I told you so." I never say it directly, because I'm subtle like that, but I do thinks like saying REALLY, REALLY LOUDLY, "Isn't it nice of me not to say I told you so? I'm really sweet and thoughtful like that, AREN'T I?"

So when the new-old RV broke down during our trip to Alberta last week, my eyes just about imploded from the force of holding it in. I was sympathetic and supportive. I packed up our things and waited patiently for his aunt to pick us up. I dealt with stir-crazy kids at his lovely and hospitable aunt's house for two days, and endured the nine hour (rental) car ride home sitting next to the sporadically screaming baby who literally threw toys at my head and tried to claw the skin off my arms because she was so freakin' tired she probably felt like her eyes wanted to implode too.

And I didn't say it. I didn't place blame. Because really, what blame was there to place? Instead, I'd like to say to my Vanderman . . .

You took a leap of faith. You wanted to make memories for our family, and you succeeded. I predicted we wouldn't sleep much, and we didn't. But we broke up the monotony of everyday life and did something different. Something that will stand out in our children's memories, waving its arms around shouting, "Look how much your Daddy loved you! Look at the effort and the expense he went to, for you, for memory-making."

I think this trip will matter more than the Disney Cruise and Disneyland put together, because it was just the six of us, careening down the highway in our jittery new-old RV with the funky smell in the bathroom and the lumpy mattress of the table that turned into a bed. It was just us, being together, and daughters taking turns sitting by Daddy and being taught point-out-the-window kinds of things. It was us singing Les Miserables to calm Grace, and little ones resting, played out, while older girls finished their exploration of the amusement park.

It was fabulous and it was family. Just like you said it would be. And I might have been right in my fear/paranoia that the RV would break down. In some ways, it was almost a narrative inevitability. The story wouldn't have seemed quite right, quite complete, if it hadn't ended that way. It's a different kind of special, a different kind of memory, that somehow completes all the others.

You told ME so. And I wish I'd listened. Because there's this little thread of shame that runs through my realization that broken down RV notwithstanding, I'm so glad we took that leap together. I just wish you hadn't had to pull me QUITE so hard.

VanderVision Tip of the Day: Part of being awesome is admitting when you're not. Try it. It stings at first but then it feels . . . you guessed it, awesome.

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