Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Taking Care

He was sick on Saturday, the day after I fought off a bug of my own. When he got home from work, I sent him to bed and brought him Ginger Ale. I made him dinner when he finally felt like eating. I did our laundry and put the dishes in the washer. I curled my body around his to keep him warm underneath the blankets.

He had a bad day at work yesterday, and came home quiet and frustrated. He wanted nothing more than to sit and home and marinate in his stress and misery, but we had plans to meet with his family. So I told him I'd drive so that he could imbibe. I gave him water when we got home, put Boxing on TV so that he could watch something he loves.

This morning, as my alarm went off for work, he rose from sleep to pull me close to him. "Thanks for taking care of me last night," he said, his voice deep and sleepy. "You're so good to me."

"That's my job," I punctuated my sentence with a kiss on his head.

And it's true. As a girlfriend, it is my job to make sure he's taken care of. But it's a role I never quite took to before. I lived much of my life in the past with the mantra "What has he done for me lately?" running through my head; mostly because I wasn't getting the little things that I felt like I needed. A compliment, a touch for no reason, a look that says - without words - that I'm loved, the feeling that I'm taken care of, too. So, to punish the boyfriend I had at the time, I'd leave the little things undone, too. I wouldn't clean up after myself, let alone touch a mess he'd made. The only laundry I did was my own, and dishes would pile in the sink before I'd even glance their way.

But I know, without having to ask, that Billy would do the same for me. And I'm so fulfilled that I want to give back. I want to show him how much I appreciate his phone calls in the middle of the day, the way he kisses me just before I fall asleep, the offers (that I politely decline) to help me out when my finances get tight. And so I say thank you, over and over, but I feel that the words alone fail to convey how grateful I am. So I bring him ginger ale and fold his undershirts and offer to drive. Because he deserves it.

1 comment:

Popeye said...

Hey, uh, you got a sister, maybe?