You know what’s Freaky?

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.

20131031-143433.jpgAnd 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.



15 responses to “You know what’s Freaky?

  1. Hey, i gave you a little shout out on my blog today :) No biggie. Just trying to spread some love.

  2. It makes me so happy to hear other people are so happy! :)

  3. I LOVE love LOVE being a stay at home mom. I love the flexibility, I’m a homebody, I don’t have to worry about my kids in ways that I would if I wasn’t here.. and on and on. But I’d be a bloody liar if I claimed I don’t struggle with the “I’m just a mom” thing. I do. Especially around my other 40ish year old friends who are professionals. I seem to attract really intelligent and dynamic women friends into my life. :) I have intelligent, dynamic, and creative mommy friends too, of course, but when I go to dinner with my prof. friends or I’m at a party with their prof. friends, I suffer from shame when I talk about what I do. I hate this hard. This is not even remotely what your post is about.. ha ha.. but hey, there was this convenient comment box for me to type in. ;)

    Anyway.. it works for me too. And my husband is an equally amazing man to be partnered with for this particular arrangement of family/work. And gratitude for my life lights me up just as it does you! I just wish our jobs had the prestige. I don’t know why I wish that, it shouldn’t matter. But sometimes it does because I guess I’m small like that.

  4. When things go wrong we can agonize and analyze how we went astray. When things are good we don’t do this. We enjoy. We listen. We bake banana bread. Nicely done.

  5. It really is the shit, ya know?

    I just wanted to chime in and say bloody good onya for choosing the hard way to raise a family…hard, as in, heaps of people think you’re crazy to do it on one wage and heaps of others will demean your beautiful contribution to just one more healthy family by demeaning the “role” of wife and/or mother. I salute you and MQD. BTW, we did it that way, and it works…we now have 4 teenagers under one roof and we all like each other…go figure…Respect REDdog

    • Thank you so much. I wish I had the backbone to think “Hrrmpp, who needs affirmation?!” but that’s just not the case. It’s a weird choice, one I struggle with. I know it is what I want, both emotionally and intellectually, but it is still such a struggle to not to feel like I need to defend that choice – to myself even.

  6. Yeah, it’s kinda hard to carry on so eloquently about how happy you are and then yell, “Make your own banana bread, jackass!!!!” Snort – good stuff :)

  7. You bring such eloquence to ordinary things. And if it’s any consolation, as one stay-at-home mom to another…I feel ya. By the way, I’m sharing this.

    • This stay at home momness is a tricky business. I appreciate your shout out. :)

      • 1. You deserved the shout out. 2. It’s only tricky because we live in a world that makes us feel like we are bringing something to the table only if it’s green and made of paper. Even after eight years of being a stay-at-home mom, a decision that felt right to the core for both myself and my husband, I still find myself answering the question “What do you do?” with the answer, “Well, I’m a stay-at-home mom, but I’ll probably go back to teaching soon now that the kids are both in full-time school.” Like I’m apologizing. And it’s stupid. Lately I’ve been resisting the urge the tell people I’m a writer since I make no money at it yet…but I have the blog and am working on a book. It’s like I’m looking for some “job” to offer to people to prove I’m worth something. This post has seriously got me thinking about a lot of things. Even if I do go back to teaching, or even if I do become a “real writer” someday, “mom” should always be the first answer to that question “What do you do?” Because let’s be honest, we kick ass at being moms :)

Gimme some love!! Please?

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