Yesterday we strolled around Opryland Hotel to look at lights and check out the Santa. Otis decided he didn’t want to sit on Santa’s lap this time (I think Mrs. Claus scared him) so we sat off to the side and just watched as Santa did his thing.
As we watched kids sit on Santa’s lap and parents sneak pictures with their iPhones, I noticed a couple close to us. They had tried to get their son to sit on Santa’s lap, but he wasn’t having it. I’m not going to lie, I noticed them when I heard the wife basically spit out her husband’s name while trying to get his attention.
She looked exhausted. Like she had been planning this day for a while. Her son’s Christmas outfit was on point. They were one of the first families in line. You know that she had dreams. Dreams of a billion Instagram hearts. Dreams of an adorable photo gift for the grandparents. Dreams that died because Santa gave her son a panic attack.
It didn’t make sense, but the way that she said her husband’s name, you knew she was mad at him. You knew that he was about to get the blame for things going wrong. Cognitively, she knows her husband isn’t to blame, but her feelings, y’all. She is hurt. And, yes, it’s a ‘first-world’ problem, but it still hurts when you want to make memories for you children and no one wants to cooperate.
Of course, I looked over at him when she spit his name out. He was standing next to the stairs holding the camera, the umbrella stroller, a toddler sized backpack, a normal backpack, and everyone’s discarded coats. He was the pack mule. He would love to be at home eating a burger and watching the game, but he knows that this is his job. He knows that she needs his support in creating the Christmas magic, and even though he doesn’t understand why he’s doing any of this he loves her. And he shows that love by staying out of her way and holding on to all of the stuff she said they needed to bring.
He wants to roll his eyes at her when she snaps at him. He wants to tell her to get over it. He knows he is in trouble anyways, so why not go out in a blaze of glory? But he doesn’t. He helps her calm the crying kid down while she digs around in her purse.
I hope they are fine by now. I hope this was just a blip on their radar. (Lord knows Mark and I have lots of blips all the time) But, more than anything, I hope that they know that they are on the same team. I hope she knows that he wasn’t playing pack mule because he had nothing better to do. I hope she knows that he did it because he loves her.
I hope he knows that she isn’t snapping because she’s mad at him. I hope he knows that she is just frustrated and disappointed that she couldn’t make Christmas magic happen. I hope he knows that a big hug and a “Thanks for trying, Best Mom in the World” will make him quite studly tonight.
Marriage is teamwork. We need each other. Especially while in line to see Santa.Read More