I have never been a direction follower. I don't think I've ever read a whole manual in my life. I'd rather try and try and try again than read how to do it right the first time. I had to retake the SAT in high school because I didn't read the directions and started on the wrong page! For years I've had masses of 10-year-olds entrusted into my hands and there is nothing a 5th grader hates more than reading directions! I found my people. And we learned the hard way together.
I would also always rather substitute something else for whatever I am missing than spend the time to get the actual correct item. This is met with varying degrees of success from "I'm a genius!" to "I can't believe I made it out alive!" No bisquick? No problem! I'll just substitute all-purpose flour! I think those pancakes could have been fine substitutes for industrial rubber.
Here's the thing. My husband...he has read and still owns every manual for every electronic and appliance he has ever purchased! He also has the original packaging. In our first month of marriage the hot tub broke down. The man downloaded the PDF of the manual, read it for several hours, and then went to the backyard and FIXED IT! It's like I've entered an alternate universe!
Marriage doesn't come with a manual, but if it did, my husband would have all the answers while I would be valiantly making wild stabs at getting it right. If I could sum up what is needed for marital success (based on my extensive 2 and a half months of experience) it would be GRACE. I'll admit it, I need more daily grace than my husband does, but nonetheless, through all the trial and error and trial again at doing this marriage thing right, a little grace goes a long way.
Someone said recently in front of a group of people, "Kate makes the best beignets!" Goodness I can't tell you how good that felt. It’s nice to get something right. It feels good to do something well.
(Despite the fact that last night I tried to just add a little extra flour to the brownies since I didn't have the (ahem...) CUP AND A HALF of Cocoa that I needed on hand.) That experiment was a hot mess that warranted getting tools from the garage to extricate the cold, hard, not terribly chocolaty goo from the pan. The grace to let a few of those incidents slide, allows me the confidence to get up and give it another try.
Sometimes this marriage thing feels like the brownie goo and sometimes it feels like the light fluffy beignets! One day I feel like I'm super wife and the next I feel like a mess. I have unending gratitude for my husband’s grace to just kiss me and laugh and tell me that next time will be amazing! And I promise... No more subbing in flour for whatever I'm missing!