There is something terribly and inexplicably cute about a man in a hospital gown. I don’t know what it is but there is just something about it that makes me want to kiss him and touch his cheek and feel his forehead and take his temperature and hold his water cup for him and tenderly scrape the crustified drool off the corner of his mouth. I’d blame it on my being a woman and being a mother — a nurturer by nature, accept that I know that guys can be susceptible to these strange emotions when their lover girl is laid up in a hospital bed too.
Lest you be confused, I am not now suggesting that my husband dotes on me when I am laboring in my hospital bed, preparing to pass the melon headed fruit of his loins out of my body. No. During this time, my darling husband (who despite what you are about to read, REALLY is an incredible Dad and very sweet to me) reads magazines. He marks the memory of each child’s birth by what article he had been reading at the time.
Trust me, it worked better this way. I never ever wanted him rubbing my back with tennis balls because he would rub my back in the same spot until he summarily rubbed off my epidermis. I never wanted him blotting my forehead with cold compresses or feeding me ice chips by hand. I only occasionally demanded that he come and hold my hand so that I could squeeze it until he could no longer feel it. Then I would say, “Go finish your article.” The only other time I really wanted him near me was when I was getting my epidurals inserted so I could squeeze the guts out of him and press my head so hard into his chest that he one time audibly complained about the pain this was causing him due to the fact that he wore a buttoned up shirt that day and that, “Ouch! You’re pressing the button into my chest.” For this infraction of the unwritten code of the labor partner he received a stern look and a “She’s having a baby! I think you can handle the pain for a couple of seconds!” from the nurse. Thank you Nurse-lady. I was in such writhing pain at the moment that words could not physically come out of my mouth. Needless to say he only wore a buttoned up shirt that one time. The next two deliveries, he remembered not to make that mistake again.
But I know that he has gotten this feeling of unreasonably affectionate mooshiness at other times when I’ve been laid up in a hospital bed. In fact, he points to the sight of me in a hospital gown when we were dating as one of the moments that he knew he really loved me. What was wrong with me, you ask? I was having a panic attack. Besides sitting in a hospital bed and being given an oxygen mask for a couple of minutes the only Doctor’s instruction I received that night was, “Next time, breathe into a paper bag.” Somehow this pathetic sight of me hyperventalating and being told that I need to relax was enough to tell the man of my dreams that I was the woman of his dreams. Go figure.
Yesterday My Man had arthroscopic knee surgery. Upon coming into the waiting room after grabbing something to eat, I saw him in his gown with his little booties on and a pair of blue scrub pants (which he later told me he ripped a giant hole in when he bent over… oops) and I began to slowly melt. When he told me where the insurance papers were kept I thought, “This is the cutest man ever.” As his name was called and he went and settled into the wheely hospital bed and then said, “Bye Nan” as he was being pushed down the hall towards the OR, I turned into a puddle of shmoopy goo. He was worried. Just a little bit.
For a man that routinely, in high stress situations says, “I’m not worried so you shouldn’t be,” as a form of comfort, in which case I then decide, “He’s not worried so this means I have to worry double time because he really should be worried and this is just a ploy to get me to calm down!” I could tell he was worried. Just a wee bit. Maybe not really worried. Just apprehensive. Still, it made me love him more because he was vulnerable. I don’t know why but men are so often the pillars of strength and courage so when they admit weakness or when they show their vulnerability it just makes a woman want to wrap him up and put him in her pocket. It’s quite the turn-on. You know in the, “I want to cook you something or feed you something or nurse you back to health or put band-aids on you and kiss your boo-boos” turn-on sort of way.
I get a similar feeling when, in his preaching, he humbles himself and admits his mistakes and his failures. Not because I like to see him looking like a failure. But there is just something very endearing about this honest vulnerability — this humility and integrity. It reminds me of why I love him so much. Not because of all the things he does right or doesn’t do wrong but because he is humble. He admits mistakes. He longs for God to be working change in the practical application of what he studies and preaches day in and day out. Even though he is just a regular guy who doesn’t always think about what he says, sometimes loses his patience with his kids, frustrates me with his just being so… so much a man, he is always desiring that God’s truth cut a deeper and deeper channel into his own daily life. When that desire comes out of his mouth during a sermon I get all mushy and happy and amazed that I am allowed to be married to this wonderful person. And he’s darn handsome to boot.
So when I saw him being wheeled down the hall, out of the OR and into the recovery wing of the day surgery unit my heart skipped a beat and I had a deep reaching longing to feed him something and hold his hand and fetch ice packs and gaze into his droopy post-anasthetic eyes.
I’m happy to report he is doing well today and not in too much pain. I better get going though. I have to go fetch things for him and make him something to eat.