Home September 2012 Great Gift

Great Gift

This month, Hubby and I will celebrate our 15th wedding anniversary.  He doesn’t know this – and please don’t tell him – but he doesn’t have to get me anything, because a few months ago he got me the best present money can buy: A Thermos.
To the untrained eye, a Thermos is drinking vessel that keeps cold beverages cold and hot beverages hot.  Not exactly exciting.  With its built-in condensation control, not even the container sweats.  But to me, the Thermos was breathtakingly romantic.
The Talmud has a lot to say on marriage, most of which comes down to kavod, or honor.  Spouses are supposed to honor each other more than they do themselves.  What the Talmud does not say is that kavod comes in a host of 16-, 20- and 34-ounce, vacuum sealed lightweight aluminum varieties.
Ozzy is so underweight that he has fallen off his growth chart.  Twice.  So feeding our toddler has become a source of stress for me.  As a result, I schlep around cooked food, snack food, jars, pouches, spoons, bottles and sippy cups wherever I go. My diaper bag weighs twice as much as my baby.
Milk is a bit harder to pack.  I’ve tried insulated lunchboxes, but usually I find myself having to buy ridiculously overpriced milk at whatever Starbucks or gas station convenience store I happen to be near when Ozzy’s bottle runs dry.  It’s a pain, but it’s not a pain I ever complained about.  It’s not even a pain I ever identified to myself as a pain.
So a few months ago, when Hubby shuffled into the kitchen proffering a sleek, metal tube, my eyes welled up with tears.
He thought about me.  Really thought about me. About what my day is like.  What concerns me.  What I’m doing at any given moment.
He identified an inconvenience, realized it could be remedied and quietly, unassumingly fixed a problem I didn’t even know I had.
The other day, when meditating on my sweet Thermos, I started laughing out loud.  Hubby is such a huge Steve Martin fan that I realized he must certainly have sung Steve Martin’s little song from The Jerk while scrolling Amazon for Thermos ratings: “I’m picking out a Thermos for you.  Not an ordinary Thermos for you!”
(I have never understood how Bernadette Peters could walk out on him after hearing a song like that!)
There have been times in our 15 years that I have felt underappreciated, of course.  Times when we have both felt misunderstood.  But what that Thermos brought into stark focus for me is how much kavod there is between us, how much honor there still is.
I now never leave home without my Thermos.  Ozzy has a ready supply of (amazingly, wonderfully) cold milk whenever he wants it.  And I have a reminder of how (surprisingly, sincerely) thoughtful my husband can be.
The traditional gift for a 15th wedding anniversary is crystal, but you can keep your Waterford.
I’m happy with my Thermos.

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