Yes, I married a younger man. B. is nine months younger than me. Exactly. Forty weeks to the day. So, theoretically, he was conceived on the day I was born (of course I know it’s not an exact science, but work with me here). I like to think that I entered the world, looked around briefly, and then sent a message through the universe that yup, the coast was clear, and that he should proceed accordingly. And I can’t say that I’ve been all that patient waiting from that time on.
I knew from the moment I met him that I would marry B. someday. Him, not so much. Sure, he thought I had great legs (he was a 17-year-old guy) but I had the vision. Although I will admit that even I didn’t realize that it would be 22 years later before we said “I do.” (No, we weren’t dating for all that time – we did stay connected but lived in different parts of the country and had separate lives. It just took the cosmos that long to remember that we were meant to be together. That, and a chance phone call at just the right time.) I came to that conclusion before B. did (just like I was born first) – and, when necessary, I take every opportunity to remind him that I used up all the rest of my patience while waiting (sometimes that argument works, sometimes not, but he still loves my legs).
Then there’s the way we approach certain things. Simply put, I often jump right in first, sometimes without looking. Come on, I think, tapping my foot (figuratively), do we really need to consider every detail? His is a more considered strategy. The result? You know how Winnie the Pooh got that honey jar stuck on his nose and needed help removing it? So okay, maybe I have a checkered history with honey jars – but it comes from reacting with my heart first and going all in instead of waiting for my head to catch up.
The thing about patience is that you’ve got to sit still long enough to let it settle on you. With a non-stop imagination like mine (sometimes a gift, sometimes not) that’s not easy. The same coin that lets my creative mind toy with the infinite wonderful possibilities of “what if?” has, on its other side, my ability to find the infinite “uh-ohs” of that question. Sometimes it’s hard to get to the “sit still” part when there’s that much busyness going on. Yes, patience may be a virtue but fortunately it’s not the only one; otherwise, I’d be left to rely on my adorableness to get by (only kidding, adorableness isn’t a virtue).
And that’s where B. comes in (nine months late, but here, thankfully). He is the metaphorical steadying oar as I splash around causing calamity; his is the calm breathing to my proverbial hyperventilating; he finds the straight path versus my impatient zigging and zagging (and tripping over my feet). He’s my quiet place to fall.
So worth the wait.
©2021 Claudia Grossman