"I'll be back" my husband said as he left this morning. So, wondering aloud in the precise and literal way he has trained me to think, I ask if he would be front and sideways, too? Some may mistake my retort for being smart mouthed. No, it is just the way we meld and trade good and bad habits.
Bob and I have this running banter going on his blog. It seems to delight his followers. But, I am trying to listen. Dr. Laura said to listen to what your man is saying. Don't bore him or scare him into silence with what is boring to them. Just listen.
"Let me win" he says. Does he really mean for me to let him win this banter? This game we play of the last word, of expressing, "I love you more." and my retort, "No, I love you more." Maybe I am just over analyzing it. But, wanting to please, and wanting to be respectful, and wanting to be a better listener, have I instead projected an air of superiority? Pride?
It is so easy, when things are good, to get sloppy. Complascent. Lazy. And then set up the dear husband as an idol, and be crushed when he shows his feet of clay. For too many years he judged me as "moody" and when he came home at night, put his finger to the wind, and checked me off, and dismissed me as moody. And when he pointed out the moody he observed, he was punished with a bristling porcupinish wife.
A marriage is not a single thing. I see it as moving and fluid, and having stages. Our beginning was so good, and fun, and an adventure that we kept looking over our shoulders for the problems we'd been warned about. We endured moves, and honeymoon cystitus, and re-occuring bladder infections, and Bob going back to college, and living with his widowed Dad, and cooking for a housefull. We moved six moves in the first three years before we had children. And then learning with each son, how different children can be, and having the almost five year gap between the firstborn and second, but only 14 months between the middle son and the baby. And the double stroller. That stage was one of being tired a lot. I say a lot of my moodiness was just being tired. And not having much interaction with other adults. Loneliness is a problem for young moms.
But, they grew up. And on our watch they stayed pretty healthy, did well in school, and were successfully launched in my humble opinion. And it was a difficult stage to transition from 24/7 high alert to their independence. Learning to drive. Wrecking cars. College. I prefer the baby and little boy stage where they can be bathed and fed and held. I think my sister-in-law prefers the teenage stage where they can be taught and challenged, and directed.
As a mom, almost 53, of grown sons, one married, and the middle son about to embark on marriage one month from yesterday, our stage is now one of cheerleader. Bob has tried to retrain me to ask questions, not bark orders or put out my opinion as the gospel truth. I resist in that ---asking alot of questions angers the youngest of our sons, and it sounds like I am trying to be a damn lawyer or something. But, supposidly it is gentler. One day, right after firstborn's honeymoon, as the truck was all packed, and they were planning their route, I pestered them with too many questions, and firstborn barked at me to shut up.
But, this is the stage of embarrassing our sons, and irritating our children. I am still critical of those that stay out until midnight especially on a church night. You are going to get run down, and catch another cold or sinus infection. Yes, you know who you are. In another month, I am sure you will keep better hours. And if you stay up after midnight, I won't know, thank heavens. This is the stage where I have become my parents and my grandparents---who went to bed with the chickens and arose before dawn to milk the cows. I doubt Grandpa James even stayed up past midnight unless there was an emergency---like starting the generator, or feeding the furnace. I am at his stage where naps are my friend. And you learn to pace yourself.
My sons' marriages will be in the stage we call time of war. The Air Force and Army they are in are at war. Everyone else is at the mall. And while folks in Iran plead for help, and are ignored by this weenie of a president, who every day shows the presidency to be irrellavent, as people are butchered by the evil rulers in Iran, our news media has tripped merrily onto other pressing matters like Sanford's scandal, and the deaths of Farrah Airhead and pedofile michael jackson.
Yeah, I know. seven misspelled words. But when I click on the spell checker, it just highlights them and says its done. I'll have to ask Bob later, how to work the spell checker thingy. It used to give me choices...