Thursday, September 2, 2010

My Husband is Spiderman

There's a great steamy scene in one of the Spiderman movies where Spidey rescues Mary Jane, and then she peels back his mask and kisses him in the rain while he's hanging upside down. Later in the saga, she's feeling a little blah about her real-life romance, and tries kissing her very nice fiance upside down while he sits on the couch, just to see if she can recreate the spark.

I always feel a little sad for the fiance in that scene. Even though he's a great looking, nice-mannered guy, there's no way he can compete, and not just because his rival is Spiderman. Kissing someone you've kissed one hundred times before is never going to give you the adrenaline rush that kissing a superhero with a secret identity -- upside down and in the rain no less -- is going to give you. That kind of thrill just usually ain't for the committed relationship folks.

Which is one of the reasons that I really love going camping with my husband. Because when we're camping, Jeff gets to be Spiderman. My domesticated man, who mainly divides his time between a desk job and pleasing the three females in our household, doesn't get to be his warrior self very often.

But when we go camping, he gets to do the man-versus-wild things that guys love. Not only does he have mad packing skills (the amount of gear he got into our car was truly a feat of modern engineering--see photo), but he can make fires, erect tents, lift heavy things, climb rocks, power and steer our kayak single-handedly, and all manner of masculine things that are fun for me to watch him do.

Our biggest thrill during our time in Pfieffer Big Sur camp ground was shooting the rapids in the river. Granted, the river is only about five feet at its deepest, and while we venture down the river, we often have to get out and wade, pulling our inflatable boats to deeper waters. But at the top of the campground is a series of pools, with boulders that form fast-flowing falls. Jeff set off on his own one afternoon armed with inner tube and paddle to ride in these dangerous waters. He came back elated.

We followed him up later that day to cheer him on. You can hear me screaming, "Go Spiderman!" on our home video. It was quite thrilling to watch him slalom through the rocks and dash down the rapids, and the heroism of it was only slightly diminished by the fact that I had pushed six-year-old Sophia down one of the same falls a few hours before.

So, out of a very fruitful family vacation, one of the best things I gleaned was that more adventure in my husband's life means more passion in our marriage. So I want to make sure he gets more manly outdoor experiences, especially on days that don't end with us sharing a tent with both our children. Because he is my super hero, and I don't want to forget it.

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