Monday, June 11, 2012

A Boy and a Girl in a Little Canoe...

Last week my husband Jay was finally able to cash in one of his Christmas presents: a Groupon for a tandem canoe trip down the Caney. Our small vessel was named Discovery 16. She was a good ship.

Jay's never been canoeing before, and though I've been four times, the instructional/warning/Chinese-water-torture-rivaling video they showed on our ride to the Caney took away any bit of confidence I had in my oar-wielding expertise. Had I inadvertently signed us up for our official last date on the murderous white rapids?


The water was beyond calm. The only troubles we encountered were spots of the river that were so shallow our boat scraped bottom and slight sunburn on our knees and shoulders. And the fact that Jay's strokes were about twice as forceful as mine, so we tended to weave a little (no, a lot).

The oh-so-terrifying instructional video told us the heavier individual should sit in the back of the canoe. Being in the front (since my 6foot5inches husband earned the back), meant that I couldn't see him: how could we paddle in harmony? Frustratingly, we often couldn't get our paddling in sync.

Our only other problem happened the few times Jay said he was going to lie back and enjoy the quiet; I ended up getting us adrift in a bad direction, needing his overly-strong oar-work to set us right.

In our marriage in general, I sometimes think, It would just be easier to do this myself! I don't nag, to the extreme that my resistance to asking for help often leaves me under a pile of chores I don't really have to do alone. In the canoe, I saw the upcoming danger and called to Jay for help. Together we could steer away from trouble.

Today I asked my toddler to carry a heavy bag to another room. As he struggled, I came over to give him a hand.

"Let me take some of the weight. You still carry it."

"Teamwork?" he asked.

"Yes, teamwork."

1) Asking for help when you need it is okay and better than running your marriage into a tree or your sanity into the ground.
2) Looking out for times when your spouse may need help and not be asking, like when my son was willing to struggle with his heavy bag, could be a good way to say, I love you.
3) Wear sunscreen.
4) Don't worry over everything that an instructional video shows you; they have to cover all possible tragedies.
5) After eight years of marriage (and after even more than that), you can still find something new and fun to do together.
6) Don't stop going on dates.
7) Maybe you should stop reading my blog (though come back later this week to read more), and go spend time with someone you love right now.

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