A few years ago, when my wife and I had only 3 of our 4 children, I decided I was going to fly and see my parents in Oregon around our anniversary. I wanted to take my wife, Monica, with me, but in order for her to go I had to make sure the kids would be taken care of. Without her knowing about it, I arranged for relatives and friends to care for our children while we were gone. This wasn’t an easy task because Monica is very particular about who she will let care for any of our kids.
When I was satisfied that those that “volunteered” to help out would be “approved” by Monica, I needed to find a perfect way to let her know she was going with me. It just so happened that her father had lost a beat with me about who would win the NBA championship, and as the loser, he had to baby sit for me. I took Monica to a very nice restaurant and had a perfect evening alone with her.
Now comes the creative part. I kind of consider myself a hack poet, so prior to our night out I wrote Monica a poem about how much I love her and how much I know that I can be a real pain to be married to. I ended the poem with lines that implied to her that she would be going to Oregon with me. A friend of ours worked in a printing shop and took the poem I had wrote, gave it a very nice font and printed it on parchment. I put the poem in an envelope that matched the parchment and in a separate envelope I put her plane tickets and a schedule of who would have our kids and when.
After dinner was over, and while waiting for dessert, I gave Monica the envelope with the poem. I had given her poems before, but none with a hidden meaning like this one had, so I’m sure she didn’t expect much more than my usual bad attempt at poetry. She read the poem and as she got towards the end, I pulled the other envelope out of my pocket to give to her at just the right moment. She got to the part about going to Oregon and she looked like she was going to cry, and like she was a bit confused also. I then handed her the tickets and the kid’s schedule.
As any parent of three small children would attest, she was thrilled to be able to get away, even if it was for just a little while. She still had the poem years later, so did her friend, the one that put it on parchment for me. To this day it stands out as my greatest work, which I am sure is due to the amount of love I had in my heart for her.
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