Tonight I received word that Michael Dubruiel (Amy Wellborn's husband) died suddenly today. It's a horrific loss for the whole family, and they need our prayers at this time.
At times like this, I tend to take stock of my own family situation a little more closely. Suddenly the ordinary distractions -- the bickering kids, the work-related stress, and little daily annoyances -- seem much less important, and I am challenged to consider the truly important things. Near the top of that list ... my own marriage.
I share this reflection with you knowing that, for some, it will strike you as a little "TMI." But for me, it seemed especially appropriate today.
Almost from the beginning, Chris and Sarah had diametrically opposed reactions when Craig and I expressed affection in front of them. Nothing serious, mind you ... He grabs me by the waist, I throw my arms around his neck, and we give each other a gentle peck on the lips that lasts -- oh, let's say 4-5 seconds. Possibly a little "Mmmm" thrown in for effect.
Christopher claps his hands and dances around. "Do it again! Do it again!"
Sarah, on the other hand, wedges her little body between us and pushes, Samson-style, until one or both of us loses our balance. "No! That's gross!"
Christopher, of course, eggs us on to gross out his little sister. Sarah, however, clearly believes that her Daddy has eyes for no one but her. (And judging from the fact that he routinely falls asleep next to her during their tuck-in session at night, she has a good case.)
Tonight, we found that Maddy also has a strong opinion on the subject. Shortly after we put the kids to bed and settled on the couch, I leaned over to give Craig a "proper kiss" ... and was promptly pounced on. Maddy shimmied up my back with all the agility of a mountain goat. She started gnawing on my hair. I pushed her down, but it didn't stop her for long.
"Ouch!" Craig winced.
"What's the matter?"
"She's BITING me!" I looked over my shoulder, and sure enough, "Trouble" had given up on my tresses and started gnawing on Craig's extremities, interlocked around my waist.
Apparently our Australian shepherd puppy has also formed a strong opinion about the propriety of our public (to her) displays of affection. One more reason for her to sleep in her CRATE, wouldn't you say?
Romance is hard enough to sustain in marriage. With all the stresses and demands of regular family life, energies wane and sustaining the "magic" takes a little extra effort sometimes.
But when the little interlopers start gnawing on our digits, it's time to draw the line, right?