I spoke with Martin tonight. He had a big day of meetings after a company Christmas party in London. Drove home in the snow. It took about 4 hours longer than normal it seemed. He stopped at a service station just so he could tell me good morning. This was the scene as he walked out to his car. I was nervous for him to drive in the ice and snow. A true silver white winter. We don’t get those in the LA area.
He rang me on Skype right away to make sure I knew he was still all in one piece once he got back to Exeter. His friends were out on the town and wanted him to join them for a yearly Christmas hang out at pubs kind of night. They are good guys but really different from him. They put up with him though :-). He told me he wanted to stay in and talk to me and I told him he needed to go and be with the guys and that I had a lot of work to do anyway. I did, I wasn’t lying. But I thought maybe if he thought I was busy he would be more apt to go. I knew part of him wanted to go even if he did really want to talk to me too.
I wonder what these English guys must think of me? They already get onto him for waking up early every morning to talk to me and they can’t imagine how we don’t run out of things to say. I know he gets a good razzing about it at times.
But it’s not like we stare at each other and make small talk every night. To illustrate his point I guess…he shared with them what happened last night with my daughter.
She had a very big day ahead and was having trouble settling down to sleep. She came out of her room after about 45 minutes of trying to share her frustration. I motioned her downstairs to the livingroom couch where I was talking to Martin on Skype next to the Christmas tree. We both tried to console her a bit and get her to think about something other than her big day. She had to be at school super early and was going to be on TV in her band uniform because of a big championship football game that night and wouldn’t be home until after midnight. To get her mind off of it, Martin shared a couple of Christmas songs from the UK she had never heard before. You should have seen my daughter’s eyeballs as she read the lyrics to “Fairytale of New York” as it played on YouTube. It sounds more like a bar tune than a Christmas one to us! One thing led to another though and before we knew it Martin was singing “My Favorite Things.”
It’s one of my favorite scenes from The Sound of Music when the kids are frightened by the lightning and thunder-storm and can’t sleep and Maria calms them down by singing that song. I love that Martin loves musicals! We found Julie Andrews singing it on YouTube and we all sang along. Martin in England and we in America. My son even chimed in with us from the loft while he feverishly tried to finish a final homework assignment. My daughter settled into a snuggle on my chest and smiled and when the song was over I gave her a kiss and said, “Okay sweetie now let’s try bed again.” It was so great. Such a great memory.
That is just the kind of thing that makes me all soft and gooey inside. And what is great about Martin is that he’s the same. We are both sentimental and corny and we wouldn’t have it any other way.
So here is Martin sitting in a pub with four golf buddies telling them he woke up at 6 in the morning to sing The Sound of Music songs with me and my daughter. I asked him how they reacted to THAT story and he shook his head and kind of shrugged and said, “They got it.” And he smiled.
He said, “You know what? Andy was texting a woman he just met. Sean was heading over to his girlfriend’s house and talking to her on the phone. One guy was going home to his wife and new little boy, and….”
Martin had this serious look on his face and I thought he was going to complain how he wished he could come home to me but instead he was in this lonely, cold flat. Or tell me how he felt sad because we were still waiting….But instead he looked right into the camera and said,
“I wouldn’t trade places with any one of them. I love you and I couldn’t wait to get back here to talk to you again.”
My heart literally melted.
I don’t know what schnitzel with noodles are. I’ve never seen wild geese fly with the moon on their wings. But I do know without a shadow of a doubt that when I am taking my very last breath on this earth that Martin will count as one of my most favorite things.