Sunday, March 29, 2009

Suprising winds.

I was surprised at how well the day went, surprised at the amount of energy I felt as I read Ethan his books before bedtime, surprised at the amount of patience I had with him while I brushed his tiny white teeth. The house was clean, the air was filled with the fresh grapefruit scent of my new candle, the dishes were done and put away. Wow, I thought, I might actually get some good time with Joey when he comes home--usually we mope around for about an hour with our eyelids half shut before we fall into bed, exhausted from the day. Then the phone rings and I let the answering machine get it because I am right in the middle of our last story:
"Hey babe...the guys, uh, want to go out for a beer. I'll be home as soon as I can. You can call me, or I will call you later."
Deep breath, and no big deal, right? After five years of marriage, these things, I know, come up, they happen, and we have to support each other and let each other go have a little fun without the other sometimes. No big deal.
I was surprised at how well I was taking this, how I really didn't feel any anger at all.
After Ethan was down, I called Joey back and he didn't answer, so I left him the sweetest wifey poo message saying no problem, I'll see him when he gets home.
Another deep breath.
I decided to do my prego yoga video, because stretching always feels so nice, and when Joey came home, wouldn't he be so proud of me for doing something good for myself, instead of just sitting on the couch waiting for him to walk through the door like some desperate housewife?
After about forty five minutes of my video I was bored out of my mind, so I turned it off.
Still no Joey, but no anger, no bitterness either--Wow, I thought, maybe I am actually growing in this wife thing.
I decided to get ready for bed because surely he'd come home before I was all ready for bed--but he didn't. So then I wrote in my new journal for another hour our so, thinking in the back of my mind the whole time, won't this be nice when he comes home? Me happy, in bed, writing?
Pretty as that picture would have been, I was getting sleepy, so I decided to just go to bed. I had a couple of fleeting worrisome thoughts--why hadn't he called back? But I pushed them out of my mind, reminding myself he was a man and I needed to trust him, and trust God that he was OK.
At one o'clock in the morning I woke up with a jerk and the realization that he still had yet to walk through our bedroom door, put his keys on our dresser, and go in the bathroom, which is usually when I fall asleep whenever he comes home late. I threw my arm over to his side of the bed and the sheets where cold and empty.
I sat up, awake as is if it were eleven o'clock in the morning, and grabbed the phone. No messages. I dialed his cell phone--he said to call him, right? Or that he would call me? And I listened to the dumb thing ring. ring. ring. And then his voice, Hey this is Joey. Leave a message and I'll call you back.
I hung up. I threw myself back onto the pillow, my mind alternating between cursing him and praying, trying to stay calm. My eyes darted from one side of the room to the other while my stomach turned over and over. Was he drunk? Dead? In some bar with boobs hanging out all over? You hate to think these things of your husband but, hello? What else do men do in the wee hours of the morning, after they started drinking at eight? Especially the type of men that Joey was with--these are not bible reading, wife loving, men. They are just men, regular men.
All the while the winds howled outside my bedroom, the lid of our green garbage can slamming itself into the house every couple of seconds.
The wind in our neighborhood is not normal wind. The wind in our neighborhood is Kansas tornado wind, wind that blows over fences and slams anything left outside into the side of your house. I have more than once been reminded of God's presence when the wind blows, reminded that not only does He give the sunshine, but He rides on the wings of the wind (Psalms). The wind always reminds me of His presence, his utter nearness in the middle of chaos.
Like I don't plan for the wind to suddenly out of nowhere blow our fence over, making life such a pain in the rear in terms of letting the dogs out to go pee, not to mention the labor and cost of fence mending (Want to get rich? Move here and learn to fix fences), I didn't plan for my husband not to come home last night. In fact, my entire day was dictated by the fact that he was coming home at around seven thirty. But God rides on the wings of the wind, dictating where and what it will hit, and He also dictates where and what our husbands will be doing after work. Even at two o'clock (because now it is TWO) in the morning.
I really did pray. God was nearer to me then I have felt Him in a long while. But I was still pissed as a bat locked in the trunk of a car. I had some great pity moments, filled with thoughts of my poor pregnant self, at home, alone, in bed, after a full day of taking care of HIS kid, and how I cleaned and laundered all his precious underwear just he way he likes it, and blah blah blah, while he's out doing God know's what, but in the end, I pleaded with God to please let me be a godly wife when he came home, whatever that looked or sounded like. Because I wanted to scream my head off and run my nails down his back. I wanted blood.
Finally right before THREE AM I called again. He answered, said he was in the driveway.
Well, I kept my rant short and sweet, said only things I really meant, and honestly believed God kept me from a multitude of sins.
Joey didn't say much, said he made the mistake of carpooling.
Oh, that he did. That. he. did.
And then he was snoring, and I really wanted to knee him in the nuts.
I was still so angry I could not sleep. At four, Ethan woke up and came in bed with us.
Do I need to say I didn't get any sleep?
Joey is gone now, and we really didn't talk much about anything. At one point this morning he came back into bed with me, after being really nice and taking care of Ethan and his breakfast so I wouldn't have to (oh, he owes me little nice things BIG TIME) and I rolled into him. My heart wasn't completely sure I was ready to be close to him, but something inside needed to feel his arms close around me.
I'm sorry, he said.
I was worried, I said.
And then we just laid there for a minute.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

My Day Off.

I went a little psycho yesterday, a little bit cracked if you know what I mean. I think I was just a step away from those darn psycho moms you hear about every so often. Who knows what really triggers it, but suddenly I am gripping the broom with such force my knuckles are white and my jaw is clenched, screaming at Ethan to finish his last (of four, mind you) crackers with peanut butter and jelly on it or know the routine. It's horrible. And in the back of my mind I am thinking, Crackers? Really? This is all for crackers?
So anyway as soon as Joey was out of the shower I told him, "Goodbye. I need time alone." And then I found my purse and I left without a second glance even though Ethan was crying, "But I wanna go with you!"
I didn't have any idea where I was going, but just to drive away felt so good.
I ended up spending lots of money because that is what I do when I crack. First stop, lunch. Got the whole meal, ate the whole bag of chips and loved every greasy, salty minute of it, and then sucked down the entire soda without one guilty thought. OK, so maybe one guilty thought. But I really enjoyed it.
Then over to Barnes and Nobles to get myself a proper journal. I have been writing in the cheapest neon green notebook you have ever seen, and I hate it. For one reason or another, even though writing is one of the most important things in the world to me, I had convinced myself that writing in that dumb journal was just a sacrifice I had to make. OH NO, not when you are a mother who has cracked. I bought the most beautiful, leather journal for a whopping twenty bucks and finally felt like myself when I wrote in it for the first time, instead of feeling like a student sitting in chemistry 101. It is interesting to see how my writing turned into my "To Do" lists in that disgusting green notebook. I can't wait to throw it away.
I didn't stop there, I also bought another journal with prompts. Sometimes these are so cheesy, but most of the time they really help to stir lost or forgotten memories.
And then on to the shoe store, where I didn't stop at one but bought two of the cutest sandals ever, and then a couple of pairs for Ethan because his shoes don't count, and what the heck, I also bought three pairs of earrings, and a ring. I was on such a roll, I decided to head over to Lowe's to look for paint samples for Ethan's new room, and the baby's nursery. And low and behold I bought two more decorating books.
I felt absolutely wonderful. New. Or old. Like before I was attached to anybody. I know it's the same old story, but it is as true as the bible: being a mom can make you feel like YOU don't exist. What replaces you is a cruel disciplinarian, a bitter housekeeper, a robot going through all the motions everyone needs you to go through to make life work.
I recently signed up on Facebook and realized how true this was in my life right now when I tried to think of "interests" and "activities" that weren't mommy related. Activities? Putting up and taking down train sets. Interests? I am interested in knowing how to make a three year old eat lunch without a melt down.
So pathetic.
I finished my "mommy day off" at Starbucks with a kid's hot chocolate, even though I really wanted my extra hot chai, but I had already passed my caffeine limited for being prego. You can't ever really escape mommy hood.
I looked at my painting books and pretended I was a designer, and that these were not my children I was picking paint for, but some other lonely mom out there who has no idea what she is doing, painting or otherwise. Then I got back in my car and drove the long drive back home.
Ethan was mad at me at first, and it hurt my feelings because I wanted to give him a hug. But he eventually gave in, and I squeezed my little boy.

Friday, March 20, 2009

I fell in love in the summer.

March is teasing us with a few days of sunshine. I am soaking it up, loving every minute of the warm sun on my skin. Ethan likes it too, endless hours in his sandbox.
I put sunscreen on today and the smell made me happy. So did washing my husband's shorts-I just love him in shorts and flip flops. I switched out the cold clothes for the warm ones, and once again my closet is full of pinks, greens, and whites--the colors of spring.
I fell in love with Joey in the spring, just on the verge of summer, and I tend to think that if for some reason winter would have lasted longer than usual that year, maybe I never would have. Long evening walks with the crickets chirping and sweet smells of blooms have a tendency to break down walls.
The memories are part of the reason I love summer and the warm days of spring above all the rest: they are a gentle and warm reminder of that young, crazy love that beats on through the mundane, cold winter days, which, I imagine, we still have a couple left (it's supposed to snow on Sunday).

Saturday, March 14, 2009

The Beloved Trumpet.

So I am sitting on the carpet by my bed bawling my eyes out and Ethan is there, asking me if I am sad, telling me it's going to be OK, and do I want to go snuggle on the couch? I am pretty much ignoring him because I have all this really important grown-up stuff going on in my brain and it's just way too complicated for any three year old to smooth over. He runs out the door and I think, thank goodness, let me cry in peace. Then I see his little fingers curling around the door, pushing it open, and there he is, holding his trumpet out to me, looking the other way and says, "Mommy, you can have it."
I think that is the nicest thing anyone has ever done for me.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Five o'clock.

Well, it is officially six thirty-five AM and I have been up for almost a solid two hours now. I am showered, make-uped, dressed. I have sipped my hot coffee in silence and wrote in my journal. I also wrote two notes, one to my Grammie and one to my older sister. I made Joey coffee and toasted him a cinnamon raisin bagel, topped with loads of cream cheese, the way I would like to eat bagels if I weren't a girl so concerned with the growing amount of cellulite dimples on her butt.
I never saw myself with crazy drunk man hair and no make-up, cause I hopped in the shower before looking in the mirror.
This might all sound really stupid, but I need this quiet time without Ethan, I need to not look like a lazy piece of you know what until noon everyday.
It hit me last night, if I used to get up at 4:30 Monday through Friday for work, get all dressed up and be ready to work my butt off by six AM, why should I not give that sort of dedication to being a mom to Ethan and wife to Joey?
I have been complaining to just about anyone who will listen to me for more than three seconds that I have not been feeling myself lately. No energy, no motivation, no inspiration. Well, girl, duh--I haven't been acting like myself lately either. With all the freedom that comes from being able to stay at home everyday and theoretically being able to do whatever the heck you want, I have become the laziest, most crabby person you can imagine.
Five o'clock AM has just become my new favorite time.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Those Unexpected, Lonely Places.

We have had the best last couple of days ever with yummy waffle breakfasts and long naps in the afternoon listening to the rain and trips into town after dinner for ice cream. After we put Ethan down, we've been watching old movies, the kind with tender romance and no guns or cars blowing up anywhere. After the movie last night we started getting ready for bed.
It had been such a perfect day, I honestly can't imagine where or why the argument started but suddenly I am on the pot screaming my brains out at him. We haven't fought like that in a long time. Ever I think. It seems the longer this marriage goes on, the less often we argue, but when we do, the intensity is bigger than ever before.
It's frightening.
I finally ended up on the couch in the living room alone in the dark. So angry and hopeless and tired. I was so out of it I couldn't even think of anything to do but sit there, my chest taking in deep, shaky recovery breaths every so often.
The last thing I expected was him to come out and say his sorry. He has never come after me, a fact that I learned to accept very early in my marriage, so when I saw his body shape walk over to me, sit down next to me, touch my shoulder and apologize, I burrowed my eyebrows in confusion but still just sat there staring, like a doped ape, at nothing.
We slowly, after some time of sitting quietly, began to say short little sentences. Little questions, one word answers. It was enough to soften whatever it is that hardens inside, and I grabbed a hold of his neck and let my head fall onto his cold arm, feeling his skin on my cheek. I slobbered him with my wet tears and whatever else comes out when you are crying like a crazy pregnant woman.
The sweetest and most painful turning point in the whole event was when I realized everything I was so livid with Joey about was crap, that in fact once again, I was using him to make me happy and when he failed to do this, I felt hurt and lost and rejected.
It's simple, and yet I can't remember it for it seems like more than three seconds, or maybe at the most a day, before I am depending on him to fulfill every complicated and sinful need that I have, so deep inside I don't even know the names of them myself.
It's at this point that that feeling of aloneness comes. And it seems so wrong, that I have to feel so alone in a relationship where you have someone with you most of the time, someone who has told you that they love you and will always be with you...
The simple truth is Joey a gift from God to me, not to fulfill me but to bless me as God allows, to sharpen me and to lead me closer to God. And God, I am learning, is nearer in those places of aloneness, than anywhere else in the world.