Thursday, April 14, 2016

Birthday Treats with My Sweets

One of our family traditions is to go around the table on a person's birthday, with each family member stating what he/she loves about that person. Today we did so for Pedro (and Owen - catching up from their birthdays a few days ago!) Responses ranged from, "He (Daddy) helps me with schoolwork" to "he plays Wii with me" and "he is always by my side." My comments, too, revolved around relationship - starting with Pedro's relationship with God, out of which flows a loving relationship with his wife and family. I shared that one thing I love about Pedro as a daddy is that he genuinely likes to spend time with his family. But as his wife, I love that he also still enjoys and desires to spend time just with me!

In fact, that is what Pedro requested for his birthday this year - a date. Of necessity we had to keep it low-key and close to home because Silas was under the weather and rather emotionally needy. But after half a dozen kids and a dozen and a half years of marriage maybe we've learned a few tricks! We slipped out as soon as Silas fell asleep for his morning nap, leaving all six kids in the care of a trusted adult. Our calculations included his sleeping for one hour and waking to take a bottle (figuring a half an hour) then having his usual happy playtime for another half an hour. This gave us two hours to relax and enjoy each other's company. Not quite up to pre-baby standards, but we'll take it! :)

A new restaurant opened near us and we are so impressed by the quality of the restoration and decoration of what once was a large single-family home. It's tasteful and lovely, with two wooden-floored dining rooms (on the first and second floors) overlooking the ocean and several other dining areas each with unique motifs. One in the rear of the restaurant is dimmer, with a water fountain and colored lights to set a more intimate mood; while another has clocks of all shapes and colors on the walls with comfortable chairs and round tables for more casual dining. It has an imagined "French cafe" feel. We've only visited the restaurant on a couple of occasions but each time we were one of just two or three tables. On this occasion we chose the upstairs dining room with ocean view and had it all to ourselves, which was perfect for a peaceful and private birthday brunch.

Two hours is hardly time enough to catch up on grown-up conversations, especially after I had just been gone for two weeks to the States for the purpose of introducing Silas to his grandparents. But it is enough time to talk and laugh, reminisce and dream for just a little bit. On my return flights from the States I read a marriage book called Fun Loving You in which the author advocated for a "daily delay, weekly withdrawal and annual abandon." In other words, daily one-one-one time with your spouse, a weekly date night and a couples' getaway at least once a year. Pedro and I talked about how we might be more intentional to make this a reality in our relationship. Interestingly, just a few days later I ran across a well-written blog post on the challenges that cross-cultural ministry life places on marriages and families. It was a timely reminder to do more than just talk about these things! Again, I am so thankful for a husband who desires to spend time together and works to make it possible.

Happy Birthday, Pedro (AKA, "My Sweets!") I love you. ~Stephanie

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