Yesterday morning, mid-way through my workout, I was hit with a sudden blast of Feeling Like Crap. I stopped what I was doing, staggered past my family playing and eating breakfast and lowered myself onto the bed, all the while letting out the occasional pathetic groan.
"Rob?" I called weakly.
My husband appeared in the doorway looking concerned. He sprang into nurse mode, bringing me a cup of water and my computer (so I could finish watching my workout entertainment, sans workout), and even took my sneakers off for me when I realized that the idea of touching my toes made me want to vomit.
I am so thankful to be able to take Rob for granted.
That idea—taking someone for granted—gets a bum rap. The longer Rob and I are married, and as I step up more fully to my role as homemaker (more on that later), I'm realizing that taking for granted doesn't have to hold the negative associations we so often give it. In fact, it's essential to a lifelong partnership.
We tend to think that taking others for granted means treating them with indifference. But treating in a careless manner is the second definition of the idiom "take for granted." The first is "to accept without question or objection; assume." With that definition in mind, being taken for granted by my partner strikes me as a completely desirable thing. To have my presence, my actions, be accepted without question? Maybe I'm reading too much into my dictionary entry, but that sounds like a compliment.
The word "assume" is, of course, a slippery slope of a word. After all, when you assume, "you make an ass out of you and me." (It ruins the wordplay, but should that actually be yourself and me? Where my grammarians at? [Somewhere behind that preposition! Ha!]) There's a fine line between assuming Rob will be there to take care of me when I don't feel well and not scrubbing the bathtub because I assume Rob will do it. But there's also trust inherent in assumption.
While I feel some pressure from Rob's assumption that the family budget will be taken care of and everything is fine with our money unless he hears otherwise, I also receive it as a compliment. He trusts me to manage our shared finances. Similarly, I assume he keeps tabs on the cars (literally and figuratively), and that everything is right with our shared vehicles. More importantly, when each of us is on our own, we are able to assume that Westley is safe, happy, and healthy in our partner's care.
When I had recovered from my bout of illness—which turned out to be a short-lived case of Icky Belly Syndrome—I ambushed Rob in the kitchen.
"Thanks for taking care of me. You always take such good care of me."
He shrugged. "There were some vows."
I reflected on my many recent maladies while pulling a bottle of mango kombucha from the fridge, realizing, "We get more use out of some of those vows than others."
Rob laughed. "Yeah, none of that 'for richer'..."