Last Sunday and Monday, Sarah & I got to go away on a wonderful trip to Virginia Beach by ourselves. We stayed in a very nice hotel and got to walk along the waterfront for a little while. Part of the fun was that Sarah had no idea where we were going – and believe me, it was VERY hard not telling her! But before you start thinking, “You go, Stephen! You da’ man!” I have to make a confession. This was not my idea (it should have been!) and I almost screwed things up royally.
Back in late January, Sarah asked to go on a trip somewhere for her birthday in February. It didn’t matter where. She only wanted to get away for a day. Immediately, my brain went into man-mode. Or rather, it stayed in man-mode. I started scouring the internet for ideas of where to take her, what we could do, etc., etc. The problem (as I saw it) was that the weather in February was not at all conducive to much outdoor activity; there weren’t any concerts or such playing on the days we would be going on our trip; and there just wasn’t that many options for things to do. As a result, I didn’t plan anything and thought perhaps we could just “find something to do” that day.
Yeah, exactly. You can take your “’atta boy” back now.
Needless to say, Sarah was very disappointed and rightly so. We decided to postpone for a later month. So I started planning again. I had a couple of ideas, but it was mostly dependent on the weather. I still hadn’t quite gotten the hint. I hadn’t understood what Sarah wanted.
We dropped the kiddos off at a friend’s house (thank you Summer and James!!) on Sunday afternoon and traveled to Virginia Beach. Along the way, we talked about this, that and the other, just enjoying having an uninterrupted conversation. We relaxed in our hotel at the very nice Westin Hotel and enjoyed the view from our 15th floor corner room. The next day, after luxuriously sleeping in and having an in-room breakfast, we drove down to the beach and walked along the waterfront for about an hour. Then we headed off to Williamsburg to spend a few hours at Busch Gardens before heading home. It was a very nice trip!
It wasn’t until later this week that I realized where I had gone horribly wrong in planning the whole thing. When Sarah said she wanted to go on a trip, I immediately started thinking of fun things to do, interesting places to go, etc (otherwise known as “man-mode”). Even in the second round of planning, I missed the point. It didn’t matter to her what we did or where we went, she just wanted us to spend time together sans kiddos. Perhaps one of the most enjoyable parts of the trip was the journey there because we spent almost the whole trip just talking and getting to know one another more. The “doing together” didn’t matter a fraction as much as simply “being together.” Sarah spends most of her days doing, doing, doing without a lot of opportunity for us to simply relax and be together.
Any guys out there reading this, hopefully you can learn a lesson from my mistake. Sometimes, your wife simply wants to be with you. Doesn’t matter that the weather is crappy/sunny and there is nothing/everything to do. If nothing else, take a 5 hour drive together and talk about whatever comes to mind. Stay at a hotel for one night and just be together. I’ve discovered that even though I had planned these different things, what Sarah had originally wanted ended up being the best part – time spend together.
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