You know when you have found your prince because you not only have a smile on your face but in your heart as well.
"Well, hello Beth!" I stammered as I found my tall, blond friend from college standing on my doorstep. I hadn't expected company, but felt honored Beth considered our friendship close enough for her to swing by unannounced.
"What brings you to this part of town?"
"Oh, I just thought I'd drop in," Beth said as she stepped into the living room. I instantly morphed into a happy hostess.
"Won't you sit down? Can I get you anything to drink? How are classes going?"
Beth smiled as my husband, Jason, entered the room carrying our one-month-old son. After I chatted with Beth for a few minutes, Jason radically changed the subject with, "Kate, would you like to go for a walk?"
"Um… uh…" I hesitated, rather unsettled by Jason's lack of consideration for our guest. Beth had been sweet enough to come over. I didn't want to take advantage of her good nature.
In an effort to make up for my husband's poor manners, I opened the walking invitation up to Beth as well.
"Oh, no thanks," she grinned. "You guys go ahead. Really. I'll stay here with the baby."
"Well, are you sure?" I asked, still doubting the etiquette of the offer.
"Of course. You guys have fun!"
"Well, okay," I answered, determined to take just a short walk so Beth wouldn't regret her impromptu visit.
Jason drove me to Coolidge Park -- a nearby recreational haven bordering the Tennessee River. I strode quickly around the green, so focused on returning home that I felt almost annoyed when Jason suggested we visit an artsy flower shop just across from the park.
"Alright," I muttered. "But only for a few minutes. I don't want to keep Beth waiting."
Jason smirked and opened the door for me. We ambled along aisles of pottery and paintings until we came to a display of orchids. Blooms of yellow, white, and purple dotted several shelves in the back of the shop. Soon I stood admiring a large fuchsia orchid.
"You like this one?" Jason asked.
"Oh yes. It's lovely."
Jason pointed to a small sign sticking out of the pot: "Sold."
Darn! I thought.
Then I looked closer. Printed on a separate label was: "Katie Mitchell" -- my name!
I gasped in delight at Jason's thoughtfulness and intuition. But soon I pictured Beth trying to calm a fussy infant. We needed to get back.
Jason, however, took both my hand and potted plant and led me away from our car to a small café.
We didn't have time for lunch! What about Beth? She would never drop by again.
We followed the hostess to a table with a blue-and-white checkered cloth near the front window. I smiled uneasily and wondered at my husband -- so attentive to me, yet so thoughtless toward our abandoned guest.
Then I glanced at the menu. My eyes widened. Tucked in front of the list of lunch selections lay a handwritten love letter from Jason. It slowly dawned on me that Beth's "impromptu visit" had been planned all along by the amazing man sitting across from me.
I couldn't help tearing up at my husband's reaffirmation of his commitment to our relationship. The last month had been a taxing one, with the joy of meeting our first child, the duty of midnight feedings, and the recovery from my C-section. Our lives would never be the same. Yet this cleverly planned, postpartum date reminded me that while Jason and I were parents now, we were lovers first. By making our marriage a priority, I knew we would continue to be.
This story is from Chicken Soup for the Soul: Married Life! © 2012 Chicken Soup for the Soul, LLC. All rights reserved.