Nearly as loud as the rain pelting the plastic hood of my rain slicker, I heard my heart pounding inside my chest as I walked to the truck. Not only was it raining, but I was about to attempt something I'd never done before involving a twin cab Ford F-150 and a boat trailer. My husband insisted that somewhere within my 5'5" frame existed the capacity to manuever a trailer down the boat ramp into the water. Backwards. Nevermind the fact that I seldom drove his truck, and when I did, I drove over flower beds and curbs when rounding corners and the testosterone surge from the experience left me nearly giddy. And that's when the sun was shining.
Nearly as loud as the rain pelting the plastic hood of my slicker, I heard my heart pounding inside my chest as I walked to the truck. The rain fell in sheets as I considered doing something I’d never done before involving a twin cab Ford F-150 and a boat trailer. My husband insisted that somewhere within my 5’5″ frame existed the capacity to maneuver a trailer down the boat ramp into the water. Backwards. Never mind the fact that I seldom drove his truck, and when I did, I crushed flower beds and bounced over curbs when rounding corners. The testosterone surge from the experience left me nearly giddy. But that was when the sun was shining.
To be completely honest, visions of the back end of the truck slipping on the wet pavement and down the ramp completely into the water filled my head.
As he climbed into the cab beside me, I looked at him and matter-of-factly said, “I’ll do this wrong about 20 times before you even see a glimmer of hope for the possibility that I might be able to tame this monster. I am going on record right now, that what I need is a heapin’ helping of extra grace from you – gently coach me through this and encourage me or I’m going to get frustrated, burst into tears and not only will we both be upset, but you’ll still have to get out of the boat and do it yourself.” He stared at me for a brief moment, taking in my statement, then said simply, “You can do this. Let’s go.” We practiced on the dirt road to the cabin for about half an hour. His voice was calm, his words encouraging, and no tears were shed. Confident in my abilities, he got out of the truck and said, “I’ll meet you over there in about 10 minutes.”
On the drive over to the boat ramp, I had a chance to wonder why things had gone so well. He’s tried to teach me a few things in the past, one of the more interesting attempts ended with us capsizing a small sailboat, and most of these experiences involved his getting frustrated and my feelings being hurt. The difference this time was as easy as pulling the trailer to the ramp area(which was remarkably simple). I had clearly stated what I needed from him for things to go well. I communicated expectations – for both of us. After being married since 1991, Jim and I know each other pretty well. And we know ourselves. Being a friend and being respectful to my husband often means helping him – sometimes it’s pulling the boat out of the water, sometimes it’s setting an accurate expectation.
I made two passes at the boat ramp that day, nearly hitting the dock on the first pass, then pulled back for a moment to figure out what didn’t work and why, tried again, a little slower and more successfully the second time. The bottom line resulted in a win/win situation for both of us, not just with the boat, but in our relationship, too.
And I didn’t even fall in the lake this time…like I usually do. But that’s another story…
Glad to be on the journey with you…dare you to subscribe or share or comment! 🙂