When I received this text message the day before my birthday, I was ecstatic to say the least. I am true lover of anything filled with surprises so I was anxiously anticipating the day like my 6-year-old waits on sleep coin after losing a tooth (which is starting to get very expensive, by the way.)
My birthday was Saturday, the 24th and I was pre-warned to get as much rest on Friday as possible because it would be a long day. For once, I listened to The Man and I was glad that I did because it was a very long day. It started at 8am with breakfast. We were joined by my 3 Piece Spicy and my mother-in-law. After enjoying my favorite buttermilk pancakes and Mexican skillet, we parted ways while my MIL took off with the girls. Our next stop was to check out Creed II. I wonder if he secretly knew that I crush after MBJ or if he knew that I really wanted to see the flick. Either way, I was pleasantly surprised and cheesing from east to west.
After 90 minutes of yelling at the big screen (you have to see it to understand), we were off to the next destination. Upon arrival, I found that I was in for some pampering. My 60-minute hot stone, deep tissue massage was everything that I didn’t even know I needed.
Truthfully, I am simple girl; my day could have ended there because I was happy with everything that had transpired. But lucky for me, it didn’t. We were a bit pressed for time because we had to meet my Sissy to pick up my pink birthday number that she purchased for my gift. The plan was to rock it to whatever the evening had in store. So, we grabbed a quick bite to eat on the run from Chick-fil-A. You have to really know me to know how special even that was!
Our dinner plans were beautiful as we feasted on my absolute favorite: seafood. We dined at a lovely restaurant in downtown Chicago and being in great company made my night even better, as my Sissy and one my sister-cousins joined us. Upon departure, we headed to the last surprise of the evening. While I thought we were on our way to another cousin’s birthday celebration, it turns out it was in honor of us both! My name was on the cake and there was even gold “K” balloon for me. Kudos to The Man; he did that for his wife!
As one young lady on Facebook put it, “This is everything that a woman wants,” in response to The Man’s pre-birthday text that I shared. I had to agree with her on that one, especially since she said that I was blessed too because indeed I am. However, I was careful to encourage her by letting her know that getting to a day full of surprises for my birthday has been a journey. If I am honest, there have been a few too many birthdays that I was greeted with a, “What do you want to do today?” I have learned over the last thirteen and a half years of marriage that there will be things that you simply have to teach your husband how to do. You know there is always a teaching moment with me, so here’s what you need to know:
- Don’t be afraid to speak up — I am not a woman of a few words, but there were times in the past where I would clam up when it came to my husband. Not being explicitly expressive about what I wanted left me with the same question every year on my birthday. “What do you want to do today?” When I finally started speaking up and letting my husband know that I expected him to exert more thought and effort into my birthday, things SLOWLY begin to change…which brings me to number 2.
- Don’t rush the process! As much as it would be wonderful if your husband just instantly changed his ways overnight, that is not most men’s reality. You are battling twenty, thirty, forty, or fifty or more years of who he has been. If celebrating birthdays wasn’t a big deal to him growing up, you have to give him time to adjust to his new normal. You don’t have to settle, but you definitely need to exercise some patience.
- Lastly, be the change you want to see. Men are visual creatures and many learn visually too. Model what you want from them in return. In September of this year, I surprised my husband with a trip to New York. We didn’t have any fancy itinerary when we got there; it was just him and I enjoying each other at a destination that was new to the both of us. He may never admit it, but I am pretty certain that trip is what tipped us over. I could be wrong, but 2 months later I was being zipped around the city like Vivian by Edward while my Kit awaited all the fabulous details of my day. (What? You did see Pretty Woman, right?)
The bottom line is that your husband is not perfect and he is not going to instantly do everything the way that you desire. Prayerfully, with a little coaching and assistance, he will grow into everything God needs him to be in your life! Persistence and consistency is key!