Every year since our first Christmas together, the only thing I've ever asked for from my husband is the book The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales by Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith. I fell in love with this children's book in high school, but never got around to buying it. So, when that first Christmas as a married woman rolled around, I thought I'd ask for the book, and that would be it. Simple, cheap, easy, done. A husband's dream, right? Wrong. Christmas passed and no book. "It just slipped his mind," I thought. The next Christmas came, and The Stinky Cheese Man topped the list, and again, no book. It soon became a running joke that at every gift giving occasion my husband would not get me the one gift that I asked of him. Sure, I could have bought the book for myself, but after several years, you start to wonder what would actually warrant the giving of this book. Well, yesterday I celebrated my 27th birthday. My in-laws stopped by on their way back to Houston, and my husband came home a couple of hours early from work with two cakes in hand. We all ate cake and visited, and then my in-laws had to get back on the road. At the same time, I noticed my husband slipping his shoes on. I asked him where he was going, and he apologetically told me he had to get back to work. Now I'm usually pretty easy to please and knowing he was very busy, the fact that he came home early meant so much, but I had no idea that he was going to have to go back. My visions of celebrating my birthday with takeout, silly movies and my best friend were soon replaced with feelings of disappointment. I ate supper with the kids, went about the nightly routine of baths and bedtime prayers, and I sat down to watch TV alone.
Well, at 10:30pm Jonathan pulled into the driveway, Barnes and Noble bag in hand. And there it was, that one little book, the one I had been waiting 8 years for, tucked neatly in the green bag. An end to an era. We spent the rest of the evening in bed laughing as I read him the story. It was perfect.