The Driver

Soon after daylight saving time ends, Brandon & I make a habit of carpooling to work each morning. He, refusing to adjust his sleep schedule, wakes up an hour earlier and this allows him time to putz around with his breakfast and also to drop me off. It’s a nice quiet time for us to be together before all the stresses of the day take their toll. Downfall being I have to listen to his annoying radio program in the morning, but some days only quiet sleepy conversation fills the car. I’m grateful that he takes these minutes out of his day to take extra care of me, and when the weather gets crappy and even dangerous out, it means that much more. Soon enough, spring will come and I’ll get antsy. Warmer weather always begs me to go for a drive with the windows down and the music turned up. Sure enough though, in the mornings I miss his company. Not Bob & Tom, though

How it happened

This has been the question of the moment so I’m going to take a moment to do my best to retell it.

My Saturday started too early: I woke up around 3:30am and could not get back to sleep. After tossing & turning for a while, I finally got up and killed a couple hours playing solitaire. I was just starting to get tired again when I realized it was already after 6, and then I heard Brandon get up. He peeked his head out into the living room and asked if I was ok. I said I was, I just couldn’t sleep & didn’t want to wake him. He gave me the cutest sleepy face and I put down my computer and headed back to bed.
I laid there all curled up in his nook ready to catch some much needed Z’s, but every so often Brandon was giving me a little squeeze. It’s something he often does when he’s feeling especially happy & affectionate, but considering the seriously early hour, I just had to ask: “What’s up?”
He only him-hawed a little bit before asking me one of my favorite series of questions. “You still want to get married someday?”
“Of course,” I say.
“To me?” he pursues.
“Uh yeah!”
Now this is not an unfamiliar situation. We’ve been talking about the idea of getting married off & on for a while. Satisfied that this must have been what’s on his mind, I start to doze off again.
“I saw something the other day that reminded me of you,” he starts up again.
“Really?” I yawn.
“Are you gonna tell me what it is?”
[He just smiles.]
“You know if I were a cat, I’d be dead.”
He just laughs at me and rolls over, and I assume the conversation is over. I decide we’re falling back asleep when he reaches over and turns on the light.
I’m tired, confused, and now it’s bright.
And there’s a cute little red box in my face.
“So will you marry me?”
My mouth must have hung open for a minute because I suddenly realized he needed to hear an answer.

The “good” child

I think one of my favorite things about being an adult child is getting to bail out my parents when their in over their heads. I say this with all love and honesty, but my mom is frequently the beneficiary of my talents. She’s a perfectionist and a control freak and I’m just like her. Which is why I decided I should give her a call this morning: the day of her husband’s surprise 50th birthday party. When she first picked up the phone, I’m pretty sure she wasn’t actually breathing. It was 10am, people were coming at 3 and Steve had just walked out the door. Judging by her to-do list, I realized that sitting on my couch watching cooking shows wasn’t the best use of my time today. So I re-arranged my schedule a bit, jumped in the shower and then took off to Meijer with Mom’s “I forgot” lists in hand. Even as I walked in the door around one, she seemed a little frantic, but also relieved that help was finally here. I chopped up a veggie tray, helped her direct her other help so they weren’t just standing their gawking while she talked to herself about what still needed done, and just before Steve walked in the door, I put the finishing touches on his present. At 2:45 I took over buffet organization so she could finally get her party clothes on and breathe for a moment before guests started flooding in.
It was awesome.
Our patch-work family showed up in full force and friends of his I’ve known for years and minutes gave the most unified rendition of “Happy Birthday” I’ve heard, possibly ever. Well, except the muddling of “Steve/Dad” in the middle, of course.
I know that things would have turned out just fine if I had shown up at 3 with all the other party goers, but I still like to think that a little effort on my part brought about a wave of serenity that radiated from my mom out to all the other guests, and Steve. Maybe this doesn’t make me the good child, but I did pretty good I think.