It’s really Freaky when everything is going along just fine.
It was a fairly simple question. “What time do you want me home on Thursday for Trick or Treating?”
I was standing in the kitchen making him a sandwich when he asked me. I was in my pajamas, complete with pink fuzzy slippers. Lucy was quite literally underfoot and Emily was getting her things together for school. He was wearing a tie.
And he asked me for direction. It is not as if he asked me to write him a to do list or asked me to fill out a satisfaction survey. But in that moment, I was The Boss. And it felt so good.
“Whenever you can work it out. We leave here at 5:50ish. Trick or Treat from 6 to 8pm.”
“Ok.” That’s all he answered. No questions about what time the kids would get in bed or how long it would take to get over to our friends’ home.
I tried to just keep making sandwiches. Eventually the words came spilling out. “This is why I am so happy at home, you know. Because I am in charge of something. Even if it is just what we eat for dinner and what time we go trick or treating, I don’t feel like I work for you. It’s so hard to feel like you’re not really in charge of anything or in control of anything and really it is just about how you say things and if you were a different kind of man and you said “I will be home at 5:30″ instead of “What time do you want me home?” it would just feel different to me and I can see how it could feel like I….” I stopped eventually. He was gone.
He was standing in the kitchen but he had mentally checked out. How many times can you dissect out loud exactly why you are so happy before someone feels like they don’t have to hang on your every word? I suppose if someone you loved was sad you might be inclined to listen longer. But the weekly, sometimes daily, “Let me tell you why this is working for me” speeches I am prone to giving, I imagine they are growing tiresome.
But I still can’t really understand it. This Life. I want to understand why it works. I want to understand so that I can never, ever break it.
Five years ago on October 27th MQD took me out to dinner. We had never met. We spoke only briefly on the telephone prior to our first date. We had a nice dinner. We drank beers and laughed. It wasn’t more than a few weeks later that we talked about kids. We talked about a family. I said that in a perfect world I would stay at home and raise my children as long as it worked. He agreed.
And here we are. And it’s working.
I am in charge of some things. He is in charge of other things.
And then last night he asked me if I’d make banana bread today. Uh. Banana bread is your job, MQD. Don’t upset the delicate balance. It’s in the oven.
I made it. Because he doesn’t ask me to do things often. So, I hope it is tasty. But I secretly hope it is not really tasty because banana bread is his job.
Happy Halloween, y’all. Happy Anniversary of our first date, MQD. Five years is not a terribly long time. But it is long enough to build a pretty super life. And apparently it is long enough to start shirking on banana bread duty.