It's that time of year again when Mr de Elba goes away on a super-amazing camp of a lifetime and I am at home holding things together at this end. This particular camp is not one that I have a great hankering to join as a leader, but it still is such a fun time for those who do go that I sometimes have to work hard at seeing the higher purpose in holding the family together back here at home.
I do this by mentally re-writing my marriage vows. I do this not to remove clauses and renege on previously-declared promises, but to give greater clarity to the selfless sacrifice that sometimes one makes so the other's ministry can have greater effectiveness and so that one doesn't run the risk of losing a small child off the edge of a boat. Here is how it has turned out this year:
I, Mrs, take You, Mister, to be my husband.
To have and to hold, for better or for worse,
For richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health,
To love and to cherish; from this day forward.
All that I have I will give to you:
While you are relaxing with school-leavers in a resort on Long Island*, I will continue with school dropoffs and pickups,
As you while away hours in a lagoon at Airlie Beach**, I will attempt to reason with small children bent on my emotional destruction,
While you sail a tall ship around the Whitsunday Islands***, I will suffer abject humiliation at the shops.
I will accept demands for early dinners and subsequent aggressive refusal of those early dinners
At the hands of small tyrannical children bearing your physical likeness.
This is my solemn vow.
* Random picture of a Long Island resort from here
** Random picture of a lagoon at Airlie Beach from here
*** Random picture of the Solway Lass cruising around islands from here but don't click on it if you don't want a million crazy pop-ups ruining your day.