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Thursday, June 16, 2011

Give Him License to Fail - My Marriage (part 4)

Chris and I had an interesting conversation the other day... we were talking about the hilariousness of my parents. See my dad has a reputation in and amongst our family. I am not sure I can put a name to this reputation but it comes from years of stories and adventures that went a little like this: "Dad, how much further?" (On our mountain bikes.) "Oh, a mile or so," he'd say, and then an hour later and two mountains over I'd ask again. Or from the countless times my Dad has said, "This run looks good, lets try it. " And then ends up on the wrong side of the mountain range, out of bounds, hitchhiking in his ski boots. I grew up surrounded by pictures of my parents winching their jeep UP a river, in some raging canyon, and my mom sitting on the hood of the jeep, just "hanging out." See my dad has an uncanny knack for finding an adventure. Like the time he got his car stuck in a muddy construction area and hijacked a crane to pull it out... And never got caught. In many families this would be considered crazy or irresponsible, risky or just plain "not fun." But amongst us Raymonds it is practically revered. And for all the failed attempts, there have been twice as many success. And many success were found amidst the failures...

Rarely in these stories is my mother mentioned. But she has probably been there 98% of the time, by his side, patiently bidding her time for a warm shower and a comfy bed. My mom was my first example of a wife who went along on the adventure. But until recently, I hadn't noticed that she is also the first woman who showed me how to give her husband license to fail in his adventures. Now not everyone is perfect. And sometimes one needs to put their foot down. But what I remember most? My Dad coming up with the crazy fun weekend ideas and my mom working her hardest to make it happen (cleaning out campers and tents/ packing coolers/ getting me out the door and picking up a friend on the way out of town). And when that weekend happened to involve being stuck in a tent/camper for three days while it rained, or a tornado skipping 200 yards from us, or sunburned backs and shoulders, I never heard her say, "I will never do that again, " or "I told you this was a bad idea" or better yet, just remain silent, cold and stony the whole ride home.

The last 5 months I have learned how valuable it is to Chris that I give him license to take a risk...and to fail in it. When we moved to Utah he asked multiple times, "Will you still be with me if this fails?" A few weeks ago he said, "I need to know that if today fails miserably, climbing with the kids, that you'll still love me. And that you'll be willing to try again."

How many wives are frustrated with their husbands because "they won't make a decision" or "they won't do anything?" Probably the same amount as have wives that nag, complain, push, and then throw the failures back in their face.

I am not perfect in this. Far from it. But I can get better. I have gotten better this last year. And I've also come to learn something about myself. I fail too. All the time. And God doesn't hold out on me because of it. And I shouldn't hold out on my husband either.

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