When I was pregnant with our youngest daughter Sophie, we were building a custom home for some clients. At the time, I was homeschooling our oldest daughter Maggie and staying home with a very young John and Luke. In an effort to make some extra money I was doing a few of the secretarial duties for our home building business. I was a hormonal and physical wreck. In addition to constant crying for no reason, Sophie was comfortably seated, in utero, on my right sciatic nerve. I waddled or gimped like I was 100 years old. I was in agony. Constantly. Also, I could only eat ice. I would eat ice like a beaver gnawing through on old oak tree. Gallons of it. If we ran out I would lie on the floor and sob – like a mad woman. (yes, later I was diagnosed with Pica, but that’s another story.)
To add insult to my injury… I irrepressibly professed my love to people, even strangers…yes, I told them, I loved them.
Out of my mind with this wanton need to profess my adoration to people, I would sit up nights, eating ice, my ever growing butt on a heating pad, chanting the list of phone calls I had to make the next day to contractors, humming – “don’t say I love you, don’t say I love you, don’t say I love you…”
My husband, Justin would beg, “just let me make the calls…” But I insisted that I could do it. And without question the next day, I would call him, crying, “I told the plumber I loved him!” The cabinet guy and the framer, the same… and then the last straw. I was literally biting the inside of my cheek when “Bubba” the septic guys said, “That’ll be fine, Mrs. Amerine.” I had no idea what number I was quoted. I had no recollection of the time or the date. My mind was fully committed to not telling this 480-pound, West-Texan, ex-drill rig operating, 7 fingered, butt crack showing, sewer digging, tooth missing, Neanderthal, that I was in love with him.
Alas, I blurted out “I love you!” and then choked on my own blood.
I called Justin in hysterics. He was kind and patient and then called Bubba to explain.
Only women can truly understand this.
I couldn’t help myself. I couldn’t stop.
The entire pregnancy, I was out of my mind.
I look back on it and I am so confused. Other than mindlessly eating an entire sleeve of Oreos in front of re-runs of Seinfeld, I have never had such little control over every aspect of my life. It was an out-of-body living nightmare.
But Justin never got angry.
He never laughed at me (in front of me.)
He never fired me.
He never made me feel more ridiculous than I already felt.
And Justin, who is a general contractor and basically can fix, build, reconfigure, and “make” anything work, does a lot of the work himself these days.
His business model, “If I can get 50,000 more miles out of this it is paying me to drive it.” And “why pay someone to do that when I can google it and do it myself?” He is the only contractor that really comes around anymore.
Maybe I ran them off with my unprovoked adoration, or maybe Justin, with his precious, yet juvenile jealousy issues, that I find charming, unwarranted and adorable… didn’t want me telling any other handyman how much I love them.
Who knows… but as we wander the halls of the house he built me 11 years ago, he writes down each and every one of my requests for the remodel. He carefully notes every detail.
He laugh-snorts when I pick the next outrageous paint color or flippantly ask him to “move that wall.” I am quite sure he is crazy about me. In fact, when I say, “Aw, you’re crazy about me.” He will casually drawl, “Yeah, I am flipping nuts.”
And at the end of every call to my contractor, it is always safe to say… “I love you.”
And he always says it right back.
Happy 24th Wedding Anniversary Justin. I like you best of all.
May your floors be sticky and your calling ordained. Love, Jami
“But those who trust in the Lord will become strong again.
They will be like eagles that grow new feathers.
They will run and not get weak.
They will walk and not get tired.” Isaiah 40:31