My husband and I made a pact in the first days of our marriage that we would always go to bed together, and for the most part, we have followed our self-implemented rule consistently and…happily!…night after night after night.
Night after night after night, when you find yourself in a room with someone else, trying to fall asleep, with no television to distract you, any number of things can happen…
For instance, last night, I got to hear the following joke: “When is a door not a door?”
“I don’t know…”
“When its ajar.”
Sure, I was a bit disappointed to learn he didn’t make that one up, but I got a good laugh, nonetheless.
Sometimes my husband and I use this time to read aloud to each other. Although our tastes in literature can differ greatly, occasionally we come across a book that we both can’t put down, and instead of him reading it, then me reading it and then discussing it, we just read it out loud. The latest book we finished together was All Creatures Great and Small and do I ever recommend it! Mr. Gore does, too.
One night this past year, Chris wanted to go to bed early and I protested. “Aww, Chris, but we went to bed early last night!” He just stared at me, wearily, until I remembered that the night before, even though we had indeed gone to bed early, Chris had made shadow puppet animals on the wall at my request for the better part of an hour. So sometimes that happens.
Sometimes we solve crossword puzzles together, sometimes he reads while I play Sudoku or journal or make grocery lists, sometimes he rubs my feet or I scratch his back or he clips his toenails. (Just kidding…NO toenail grooming in bed, I don’t care how much in love you are!)
And poor Mr. Gore…sometimes this is the time of day when I, usually pregnant, finally have the opportunity to weep and mourn for the burdens of the entire world. Once I get started, I cry for every orphan, every widow, every person shackled by sin or touched by sorrow, and for everyone, including myself, who has to eventually die. Chris pats me, talks me through it, and sometimes just gets tickled. His chuckles have been known to take on a note of hysteria, and that’s when I know I should probably stop, that I am probably scaring him into believing that I’ve really gone and snapped this time.
And sometimes this is the time of day when the pastor’s wife is shepherded, when my husband prays with me, guides me, and answers all my random questions about theology and the Bible and “who made God?!”
And of course, there are those times when the bedtime hour results in a third and unexpected pregnancy! But that’s for another story, another day. The pregnancy, I mean, not how it…oh, nevermind.
“This was the cream of marriage, this nightly turning out of the day’s pocketful of memories, this deft, habitual sharing of two pairs of eyes, two pairs of ears. It gave you, in a sense, almost a double life: though never, on the other hand quite a single one.” Mrs. Miniver
I really don’t possibly think I could agree more.