Thursday, August 13, 2015

Partner

Today I woke up, left the house and went to a coffee shop. I had breakfast and drank hot coffee. I read a book and journaled and sat and breathed.

I ran some errands. No little kid in a cart with an infant strapped to my chest, no praying that no meltdown would occur, no hasty exit for the car, no car seat wrestling matches, no hungry infant on the drive home wailing for milk as the toddler contorts his body in such a way as to physically torture the 8-year-old smushed into the middle seat next to him.

Quiet.

A haircut, a few hours on a lounge chair at the pool with a book, a catnap in the sun. Singing at the top of my lungs in the car. (Oh wait, I do that anyway.)

And a walk back into my home right before bedtime to the toddler shrieking "mama, mama" with delight, with a sleepy baby's sleepy smile, with a child asking me how my day was, was it restful, was it good. With a kiss from my husband, smiling and glad to see me.

This, my friends, was my Mother's Day gift. The gift of a day. Not to get away from my kids, although practically that is what I did, but a day to reset, a day to breathe in and out, a day to be reminded that while life is challenging and loud and chaotic right now, that while I am exhausted and showers are a luxury seldom enjoyed, that life is good. That while my hands are "full" as so many strangers like to remind me when we venture into public, that I spent many years with them half empty and this is better.

And the best thing about today?

I didn't call my husband. I texted him to let him know how I was doing (since we both know I struggle to relax, to enjoy and I wanted to reassure him that my day was going well) but I didn't check in.

I don't have to.

He is not the babysitter. He is not childcare. He is their dad. Fully capable. Fully in control, as much as any of us parents are. He knows his sons, knows what they need, their quirks, their personalities, their favorite foods, the exact way you have to do nap time or the right way to phrase a question to the toddler. He knows it all.

I didn't have to leave a long list or a schedule. I didn't leave food in the fridge. I just washed my face, put my shoes on and left the house.

A true partner is no joke, my friends.

To be with a man who understands how powerful is his role as father is amazing.
To be with a man who doesn't think he is doing me some kind of favor that needs to be repaid when he takes over the kids is no small thing.
To be with a man who I can trust knows us, really knows us, to be fully aware and without any doubts that he is for me, for them, for our family? That is beauty.
To be married to my best friend and to come home and see the baby resting on his shoulder as the toddler runs circles around him, to have him turn and smile and show me that this, this chance to spend a whole day alone with his boys, is a joy to him, a gift, really.

Well, there are no words.

Marriage and parenthood are the hardest things I have ever done. To be able to do them with someone who is a true partner - well, I imagine I couldn't possibly do it any other way.

Tomorrow the day will be crazy, as it always is. Really, crazy is our new normal. But I'm grateful that I had the chance to breathe, to remember, to sit, to think (and not think!). And I am grateful to this man who knows how much I needed that, who loves his sons with a fierceness I didn't know possible and who always, always, makes me feel like we can do this thing called life. And do it well.

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