We sit across the table over plates of green beans and cold spaghetti. Yes, it’s kind of weird but weekend food is just kind of weird around here. Marilee screams loudly and bangs on the French doors while she smudges her spitty cheeks all over the glass panes. She’s watching her sister play hard with the poor Figaro, the cat, who has proven to be QUITE the good sport.
Marilee’s screaming, banging, and squeaky smudging tagged onto Adelle’s thumpity-thumps on the deck outside. Cold spaghetti. Desperate stares.
I finally say, “We need…”
And Josh jumps in, “…like 7 days away.”
We take a moment and imagine where we would go and what we do. We don’t come up with anything very exciting because, really, how would any of it ACTUALLY happen? I tell ya’, we haven’t been away from our children for more than 24 hours as a couple in about 2.5 years. I recognize that this probably isn’t unusual.
You know what I’m talking about, right? About how you scratch the plan to watch a movie because, hello, it’s already 9 pm and tomorrow is Sunday/church/THE most exhausting day of the week and there’s no way staying up until 11 pm is a wise decision for anyone. Or how when you ask your husband for one thing you could work on and his response is, “I know part of it is just our stage of life, but…um…is there any way you could, like, not fall asleep on the floor as soon as I get home?” Or how you seriously wonder – just for a split second – how bad it would be just to leave the kids in bed and run to Lowe’s together. Or how your man gets excited for his bathroom time – because it means he gets to be alone. Or how your most intense fantasy now consists of mostly sleep and possibly a little communication or hanky panky – but probably not both.
Tell me you KNOW what I’m talking about. That we really are not alone. Because if not, I’m going to have to feel jipped in some major way.
You do. You know. And I’m here to tell you that we do, too. That we are desperately fighting to have enough nice left over for each other at the end of each day. That a lot of days we just don’t. That when people tell us to enjoy these years because they are the best of our lives, we nod because we know that in some ways they are right and that, either way, we really should be polite, but on the inside we are imagining them clipping the handle bars of their bike on a road sign causing them to flip off awkwardly – not falling hard enough to really injure themselves but big enough to make us laugh hysterically. [I may or may not have witnessed this very scene happen to the detriment of a very cute twenty something girl. I slowed down to make sure she was okay. And then I only giggled a little because I am all too aware that it could have been me – but instead of the cute twenty something I’d be the really tired “so-a-mom.”]
Somehow we will make it through, and with the help of Jesus there will be a lot of joy and laughter mixed in along the way. All together now, let’s push forward in this great parenting and/or marriage adventure…fists in the air, shout it out loud, let it be your anthem: Green beans and cold spagheeeeettiiiiiii!