Thursday, July 24, 2008

Winner of Bread, Bearer of Bacon


So it's been a few nights since I had any decent sleep. I developed a dry, hacking (Ty refers to it as "fake") cough a few days ago, which has sent me scuttling off to the basement every night to watch late-night television until I fall asleep on the couch, only to wake up every few minutes to cough. This morning when I went into my bedroom to grab a hat (for my ritualistic pre-shower, early-morning grocery shopping trip) I had to stop and drool over the perfectly peaceful sleep my husband was having. There he was, sprawled out in the middle of our bed, blankets in cocoon mode, with what looked to be a huge grin of satisfaction on his unconscious face. It was both sweet and infuriating. While I couldn't help but smile, I also couldn't help but wonder how he could sleep without me, especially with the knowledge that I was suffering in fitful slumber downstairs. Upon completion of my food-obtaining mission, now headache-bound and exhausted, I stumble in the door to begin all my morning habits: unload dishwasher, make breakfast, put away groceries, try to answer the whirlwind of questions and comments thrown my way by fully-rested children when all I want to do is go back to bed. The sound of the shower in my bathroom makes its way into my zombie-like consciousness, and I realize that Ty has just awakened and begun his blissfully unaware routine: shower, get dressed, walk around the yard. I wonder when I will be able to pencil-in a shower today. I quickly take inventory of everything I have to accomplish, and estimate that it won't be happening until around 2:00 p.m. I try not to give in to my jealousy, busying myself by stirring the eggs a little faster. Then, just as my concentration is at its peak (all food hot and ready for distribution), I jump in surprise at the slap to my hind end. I whirl around to see Ty's ready smile and cheerful, "Good Morning, Sunshine!" I want to strangle the chipper from his throat, but manage to squeak out a greeting instead. True to form, I watch him stroll around the backyard with his bowl of cereal, and I wonder what it would be like to be the man: free to run an unplanned errand without consulting anyone; free to come and go with only one's own shoes to find and tie; free from everyday household duties; free to take one's time showering without wondering what mischief the children are into; free from thoughts of food preparation; free to step out of my pants and leave them laying in a heap on the floor, certain they will be washed and folded next time I see them. F-R-E-E. Suddenly I KNOW what I want for my birthday (which I have been pondering for quite some time, as Ty keeps pressuring me to hurry and figure it out, which only adds to my stress - sheesh!). I want to be him for a day. I smile to myself, thinking how nice it will be to clear the slate of my brain that looks like this: WORRY ABOUT SOMEONE!!!! My smile slowly crumbles as rationale returns to my sleep-deprived cerebellum, and I remember other not-so-enticing "perks" of being the man of the house: working long hours at a mostly thankless job; providing for an increasingly-demanding family; coming home feeling drained after work only to find a wife overflowing with frustration to greet you at the door, and children who want to climb on you and wrestle with you; having your only few hours of relaxation time shattered by home-improvement projects; keeping your cool (and sense of humor) while your wife takes her anger on parade; taking your wife on dates even though the last thing you want to do is go "out" and make conversation with people; continually working toward figuring out your crazy wife and devising ways of making her life easier. By now I feel sheepish and look around to see if he has somehow read my selfish, although now penitent mind. I know it's not a contest to see who has the tougher job, but somehow I am always trying to win. In my silly musings I sometimes think Ty is just running off to play with all the grown-ups every day, while I am caged in the house. I forget that, although I am overflowing with faith that the Lord will provide, faith without works is dead, and Ty just happens to be the "works" part of that equation in our family. I cannot imagine being the sole responsibility-taker for four other human beings' physical survival. I marvel at his ability, and willingness, to take upon himself that kind of burden, to do it well, and to do it with a smile (this post is taking on a life of it's own and becoming uncharacteristically mushy). As he prepares to leave and yells out his usual, "I neeeeeeeed....kisses, kisses,kisses...," and the kids come running to cover him with farewell slobber, I am suddenly overcome with appreciation for men (one more than any other), and wonder why on Earth I forget how lucky I am so often. I also revise my birthday wish: I want to be Ty for a SATURday.

7 comments:

Crowther Clan said...

I love it. You are honestly the best at putting thoughts into words!! I completely relate to your feeling... the good and the jealous. I'm sure every wife does. I always tease Jason about all his freedom... but it's true, I couldn't do it without him! You are a good mom and you have a good hubby!

Marianne said...

You always know exactly how to say things. I sometimes think Joel has it easy while I slave away at home, but then I remember what he does all day. I feel pretty lucky too that I married such a motivated, hard worker. As hard as it is to be a mom, I'm sooooo glad I'm not a man. I really would not like the pressure of providing for the family and having to have a 9-5 job.

sharlee said...

That's wonderful, Andrea. It's so true. I am amazed at the way you can express what all of us feel. I hope you are printing all of these for your journal (or for a book someday).
I had so much fun at your house yesterday. Thanks for the yummy food and the fun conversation. It was very relaxing and you inspired me to try some new recipes and to try to be a little more exciting of a homemaker.

Amber said...

Um, I am fairly certain we are one emotionally charged mind residing in two separate bodies. Mark and I just had a discussion about how free, yes free, he was as a husband. This was like 2 days ago. Why do you not live next door to me? I need someone who just gets it living closer so I can vent and not feel like scum or like a bad wife. Have any trips planned to Boise soon? Oh and I bought this book called the Writer's Market Online. It basically lists a zillion publishing opportunities and also info on book publishers and literary agents. It says what they are looking for and how much they pay, etc. Now I just need to crack the thing open and find one that seems to fit our book idea (which correct me if I am wrong, is basically a couple of tell-it-like-it-is moms setting the record straight on motherhood and life and such?).

Matheson's said...

Seriously I love to read your posts. You are so in depth. I too wonder what it would be like to be Blake for a day. I would want a weekend day too. :)

Christyeve said...

How amazing are you! I love this post. That was so fun to read and to reflect and put my own husband in that picture you were creating of your husband...I feel just as blessed! Oh but a weekend day would be wonderful! When is your B-day by the way! Well happy birthday!

Matheson's said...

It's your day today!!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY GIRL!!!! Hope it was a wonderful as you hoped! Miss ya! Check my blog for your b-day tribute soon :)