Floating upwards through the sleep of the exhausted…midlife hot flashes are a preview of hell for the hormonalâ€¦I awake to the not-so-gentle kneading motions of our ten-pound cat on my bladder. Pudgy is hungry and she knows bladder badgering is more effective than meowing in my face.
â€œOkay! Okay!â€ I say as she jumps to the floor expecting me to follow. I donâ€™t. The morning light is beautiful and the quietness lulls me into a moment of reflection.
I scan the room noting new cobwebs to knock downâ€¦laterâ€¦and the stack of books that really really really need sorting and storing. Later. My gaze moves towards the bed frame and I see the wooden imperfections I love dearly. Why the affection for imperfections?
Fourteen years ago my new husband built the bed as a wedding gift for me. Prior to our vows he put a lot of secretive time into designing a bed that would reflect my love of mission-style furniture (I bet you thought I was going somewhere else with the â€œmission-styleâ€ statement didnâ€™t you? Tisk, tisk.), and one that would represent a future filled with love and lovemaking. (Okay, maybe you werenâ€™t that far off pointâ€¦)
Over the years the bed has been our sanctuary, our island of intimacy, our place of rest, and our haven of healing when illness visits. The bed has witnessed pillow fights, seen us â€œsteamrollâ€ each other, born the embarrassment of being short-sheeted, and had its slats removed by a certain prankster daughter of mine.
Weâ€™ve cuddled, flopped, drooled, jumped, and snored on that bed. And, lest you are wondering, weâ€™ve done a lot of other things that are none of your business!
The bed frame, like me, is showing its age. A bit of glue peeks from the edge here, a knothole embraces dust there. But it is a sturdy creation, and never gives a millimeter when we stub a toe or drop the mattress as we tuck in the sheets.
Thinking about what he must have been thinking as he sawed and glued and created our marital bed makes me smile. Maybe blush a little too. I canâ€™t even remember what I gave him for a wedding giftâ€¦certainly nothing as fine as the bed in which I now dream and daydream.
Pudgy has had enough of my lollygagging and jumps back on the bed. Sheâ€™s eyeing my bladder region once again so I stretch and swing my feet on the floor. â€œOkay, Iâ€™m really coming this time,â€ I say. As I walk towards the door I touch the dusty knothole, sigh, and start my day.
To almost anyone else itâ€™s just a bed, but I love that it represents our marriage in a myriad of ways. More importantly I love my husband for being a romantic soul in a too often unromantic world.
Claudia Kittock says
SO beautifully written. You have that rare gift of making your reader feel your inner thoughts and feelings, and they are always lovely, often poignant, and a true gift.