In the Middle of the Night, She Asked Me
I try to not disturb my wife’s sleep. Sometimes, despite my best efforts, others disturb Sugar’s rest. For example, last night our 90 lb. puppy, Gus, who just celebrated his first birthday, came up to Sugar’s side of the bed and awakened her by sniffing at her lovely face.
However, it is my job to let Gus out, as he good and well knows, so next he came to my side of the bed and softly barked. I awakened from a deep sleep, obediently sat on the side of the bed, waited for my consciousness to emerge, and started for the bedroom door in the utter darkness.
Before I got there, I stepped on Beau, one of our other Labrador Retrievers, who was sleeping soundly at the end of the bed. I tried to lift my foot from Beau, out of kindness, I suppose, sacrificing my extraordinary balance to protect Beau, and landing on my bum knee and then my extended right hand, which did not support my lithe frame, which resulted in my laying on the floor at the foot of the bed, where Gus eagerly jumped on my prone form.
“Get off me,” I said from the floor, which disturbed Sugar, who reminded me that he is just a puppy. I already knew Gus is just a puppy, yet I felt it would be easier to get up off the floor without a puppy on my chest.
Gus and I walked down the hall, across the balcony, down the steps, through the front room, and out the front door, onto the front porch, then down the steps. Gus was happy to be out at 2:00 a.m. I was hobbling on my bum knee, which was much more painful than it had been a few moments earlier.
Gus proved that it was worthwhile to go outside, as from a young age he had been taught to potty outside. See post entitled, “We slept together the very first night.”
I returned to the bedroom by the same painfully difficult route of going up two flights of steps. I stealthily slipped under the covers. Sleepy Sugar hugged me and, with genuine concern, asked, “Did he poop?”
Apparently, she felt it unnecessary to inquire about my health after my fall. That makes sense because she knows how tough I am.
Taking Turns Riding Shotgun
Last night, I heard a song with the phrase, “Taking turns riding shotgun.” (It was a country song). It struck a chord in me. I plagiarized it as part of my love note to my wife on her Valentine card this morning.
Romance is wonderful. It is fun. It feels good. People love feeling loved. Infatuation is exciting. But romance alone is not enough to sustain a marriage.
I married a pretty lady from Texas. I call her my hot trophy wife because she looks like the beauty queen she once was. It was easy to fall for her. But calling her a trophy wife is shallow of me. Sugar is anything but shallow. She is a force to be reckoned with.
I like to think that I am tough. I like the role of being a protector. I have seen too many Western movies. In the West, we use phrases like “I’ve got your back.” That refers to literally watching out for the other person so no one else shoots them from behind, or, symbolically watching out for the other person by being loyal.
Sugar is tough. She does not look very tough, but inside she bravely handles adversity. She overcomes. She is loyal.
On the stagecoaches in the Old West, there was a man sitting next to the driver who was “riding shotgun.” The person riding shotgun could shoot at anyone attacking the stage while the driver concentrated on driving the team. Maybe they took turns.
In marriage, we need to protect each other. We might play different roles and do the protecting in different ways, but each partner “rides shotgun” for the other. Taking turns.