It's such a gorgeous sight
To see you in the middle of the night
You can never get enough
Enough of this stuff
I'm in love…”
— The Cure, Friday I’m in Love
still on the mend, and now my wife was with me in Las Vegas for the weekend to celebrate our 20-year anniversary of the day we met on the beach (14 years of marriage and the same date). The song was one of many special ones to us we had put on our wedding soundtrack to celebrate Friday date nights.
We walked hand in hand, and then my wife, who I affectionately call the Mama, said, “When we get back to the room we’ll call the girls.”
One of our dear friends was watching our girls for the weekend at our house, and no sooner than the Mama had finished saying “the girls,” we were both texted.
I pulled my phone out to read the text. It was from that dear friend watching our girls. It was right after school, so she had picked them up and was bringing them back to our house.
Hi, out your house. Didn’t find a house key in either backpack.
“Sweetie, did you give Laura our key?”
No response. She was reading the text, too.
“No, no I didn’t. I totally forgot.”
“Are you serious?”
The usual edge I get when things go south slashed away at the air between us.
“I can’t remember everything, Kevin. There was so much to do before I left. I just forget to give her the keys.”
I took a beat and a breath, still mentally slashing away in the air.
“There’s a spare in the garage,” the Mama went on.
“No, there’s not," I said.
“Yes, the one by the furnace.”
I shook my head. “That was the one to get into the office and guest room through the garage, but not for the house."
The Mama asked Laura to look for the key, but it wasn’t there.
She then looked at me and asked, “Wasn’t there a key in the office, too?”
“No, we took both keys out years out. There’s nothing out there anymore.”
“Then we’ll have to call a locksmith," she said without missing a beat.
More slashing at the air. “Are you kidding me? That could be hundreds of dollars. No way!”
“Then how are they going to get in?”
“Can they spend the night at Laura’s and we’ll FedEx our key now? Every casino with a conference center has a FedEx office.”
The Mama thought about it.
She kept talking with our friend Laura on the phone and I just kept on stewing. I knew my wife had a lot going on with work and the girls, taking care of me before I traveled, and the fact that I’d already been gone for nearly a week.
But of all the things, the house key? Ugh. I mean, you can forget toothpaste and underwear, but the house key for your babysitter? It wasn’t exactly like the movie Home Alone, but I still failed to reign in my discontent.
“I get forgetting other things to do before you left, but the house key? How could you forget to give the house key to Laura?”
That did it. Too much push.
“Sweetie, stop it. It’s done. I forgot, okay? Nothing we can do about that now!"
We both sent quiet. Then she spoke up again.
"What about our neighbor? Could he get in and open the door for her and the girls?”
I always love how she moves on immediately identifying solutions. I still have to extinguish the stewing before I move.
“Is the upstairs bedroom window still open?” I asked.
“Yes, it’s open.”
“Then most likely, yes, he can get in.”
Our neighbor had been up on his own two-story roof more than once, so I knew he could he could get to our window that way as well. We've never had to do it, and we've never tried, because the Mama has always said the second story is off limits anyway due to, you know, gravity. I called our neighbor and he confirmed he could do it, just not until later in the day. After that, we both felt better knowing that at least they’d get into the house eventually.
“If they can’t get in, we’re going to have to call a locksmith then," the Mama said as we continued to walk back to our hotel.
"Yes, I know," I said. "Love you."
And then I added. "We're going to make Laura a friggin' key, Sweetie."
"Yes, I know."
The Mama stopped and checked her phone. "Wait a minute, they're in."
I checked my phone at the same time reading the same new text.
Mike is climbing through window now. Do we need to worry about an alarm?
Mike is Laura's husband and obviously was now climbing in our upstairs bedroom window.
We are in the house now.
Both the Mama and I smiled. I texted Laura back.
Wow. We’re going to make you a key.
We thanked Laura and Mike profusely. After we got back to our hotel room and talked with the girls on FaceTime, our anniversary weekend was back on track. Of all the things I love about the Mama, her ability to pivot and adapt to nearly every situation, big or small, positive or negative, and then think rationally about solutions, is probably the most inspiring thing of all (I remember the fire on Maui and many other examples). That and the way she cares for our girls and for me of late with my recent health issues again solidified for me why she's the woman of my dreams and why we're celebrating 20 years.
Twenty years of living fully and mostly well, loving comfortably within our lives. Amen to our #BhivePower.
"For 20 years now you’ve been my inspirational muse,
My stunning ache, and the us of which we choose.
We want to believe our two halves will always grow
Intact as two wholes that the end of days will show,
And until then we will live fully and mostly well,
Loving comfortably within our lives, our endless tell."
—Excerpt from a poem I wrote for the Mama on our anniversary