My parents had invited me over for a meal, but they ran late, so I made the food myself. Chicken, wild rice and asparagus with butter.
I was pulling the chicken from the oven when Mom came through the door. She glanced at the table and then said, haltingly, “There will be four eating, Tasha.”
My gaze met hers and my eyes must have been wide with surprise because she said, “Didn’t Papa tell you?”
I shook my head and started taking deep gulping breaths. While Mama set another place, I hid in the bathroom, hyperventilating. I heard Papa come in and went out, a bit of accusation flying. “I almost didn’t make enough chicken,” I pointed out, “I only threw in an extra piece in case one of the boys came through.”
“Well, it’ll be a boy,” Papa said. All calm. “And he’ll be coming through.”
My hands were shaking.
He showed up two minutes later, while I was still trying to get my hands to hold still. He was relaxed. Smiled a lot. Sat down at the table with us and began telling stories. Oh, he offered me a chance to talk but I mostly mumbled and nodded. So he kept on, sending me a wink here and there.
I’m pretty sure that if he hadn’t already gotten to know me from a distance, he would have left that night thinking, “Strange girl. Doesn’t talk much.”
As it was, he held up both sides of the conversation while I took deep breaths and sat on my hands.
I think I started to love him right then.
We married seven months later. And I have been thankful, every day, for his ability to command a conversation. Oh, sometimes he forgets and runs right over me. But he always comes back and gently pulls me along.
He gives me grace for my long moments of silence. For my jumbled up word-messes. For my “I don’t know, I don’t know, I don’t know.” And he graciously leads me through.
“Talk to me, honey,” he’ll say, and patiently holds my hand while I formulate words.
My communication skills have grow immensely since our marriage, and it is all thanks to him.
Is there something your husband is exceptionally strong in, that you struggle with? How has he helped you overcome that?