Saturday, January 25, 2014

I Married a Good Man

You guys.  I am basically indulging in a sick day right now, which most moms are never able to do unless they are hospitalized.  Except thankfully I'm not even ill in the slightest, at least not in a physical way.  But it is Saturday morning, after a long, cold week, and Joe is playing with the children downstairs and bringing me coffee and The Writer's Almanac podcast in bed.  This is just what I needed, and I suppose it would take a blind and deaf man not to have known it.

Yesterday was a terrible day, not in a life crisis sort of way, but I can't remember a worse day of parenting on my part.  If two weeks ago I was the mom doing icy science experiments at home, by yesterday this unrelenting winter had me feeling like Jack Nicholson in The Shining.  I yelled at the children and then apologized.  Only to later yell at the children and then apologize.  It was an ugly, vicious cycle that I hope not to repeat, but I confess it here because I am human.  Our heater could not keep up with the winds, and our living room was topping out around 54 degrees.  Cabin fever set in, and no one got enough exercise or fresh air.  The kids watched too much TV but could not handle a movie, but I suppose that is a topic for a different post.  We went to a McDonald's drive-thru for lunch, which is a rarity because of how awful it makes me feel afterwards.  I endured another "Weepy Dinner", the term I've coined for anytime Joe can't make it home from work in time to eat with us and one of the girls (this time it was June) sets off a chain reaction of tears.  As always, it was sad and comical at the same time, but I couldn't blame the kids for feeling distraught.  I felt pretty distraught by that hour, too.  In sum:  All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.

Somehow, at the end of this awful day of abysmal parenting June still jumped up in our bed before bedtime and said, "I want to snuggle with Mommy!"  Waylon ended his night with his usual, "I love you so much!"  And Georgia threw her arms around me from her top bunk at lights out saying, "I love you more than anything in the world."  Children are so forgiving, and I am incredibly grateful for that.

But back to Joe.  He's also rather forgiving and knows how to take care of me when I am suffering from the mental illness known as "total beat-down of incessant, loud, repetitious, whiny, simultaneous, conflicting demands of little ones".  It's a serious affliction, look it up.  Joe and I celebrated our 10th anniversary earlier this month, and I've been meaning to post something here to commemorate it.  I look back on all the places we've lived, the trips we've taken (I vaguely recall the freedom of traveling without kids...), the jobs we've worked, the relatives we've lost, the children we've welcomed, and how our hearts have grown.  We got married on the beach in Mexico, so of course every January 9th I want to magically transport myself there.

This year, in honor of our 10th, I brought out our official, stored on a high shelf, kept in a fancy protective box, wedding album to show the girls.  I knew they'd get a kick out of it but was moved by how much they plunged in with heart and soul, wanting to celebrate for us and with us.  They painted  us anniversary cards.  They demanded to put on their flower girl dresses from Aunt Sara's wedding.  And then Georgia put forth a pleading request, "Mama, can you please, please, pretty please, please say yes, put on your wedding dress and come play wedding with us?"  I replied by informing her that my dress was sealed in a box in Missouri, but maybe the next time we visited Nana we could get it out.  (Ever protective of the girls' sense of body image, I neglected to mention that it's also quite possible I would need to have a rib removed to fit in the dress, thanks in large part to my children's existence on this Earth.)  Not to be thwarted, Georgia tried again, "Then can you please put on a different dress and come be in your wedding with us?"  How can you say no to that?

So I shed my layers of fleece and slipped into a sundress, the only other all white ensemble I own.  Soon we were dancing and spinning in the basement, and my heart nearly exploded.  No one seemed to mind that I, the bride, had not showered or done my hair on this fine wedding day.
And now we dance
Twirl 2 Twirl Wedding re-enactment with the flower girls who were mere sparkles in my eye at the time

These flower girls (and their brother) were mere sparkles in my eye 10 years ago, but they have the magic to transport me back to that beach on a moment's notice.  What a gift.

And to Joe, for whom most of my thoughts are best conveyed off of the Internet, saying yes was the best decision of my life, and I would marry you again in a heartbeat.  For uncountable reasons, of course, but thank you, with every fiber of my being, for giving me a day off.     


jessica said...

Tear jerker. You have such a gift for putting your thoughts and feelings and emotions into writing. I was so focused and emotional while reading this post. I seriously look to you and Joe as role models, down falls and all, because you are so full of love and living an intentional life. In the words of Waylon and some famous Austin graffiti art, "I love you so much!"

Ann Price said...

Where's the share on Facebook button. ;) Seriously, this needs to be read by so many others who no doubt feel your pain (I among them). And of course, the tribute and lovely celebration you paint of your husband and your kids is such an example. I agree with Jessica. It's a tearjerker of the best kind. Congrats and thanks for sharing this. You all look lovely in your dresses!

Kelly said...

Yep, teary here in Missouri, too :) Beautifully written, Kate. I've always admired your ability to transform your thoughts and feelings into written words - something that's not easy for others (ME!). We all have those "stick a fork in me, I'm done" days. Next time you have one, pick up the phone and give me a call! Love you and your whole family. Am still looking at March to see when we might be able to come visit - we miss you guys!!!

Emily said...

I just want to make sure you know that you are not the only one losing it after being cooped up for too long. Things in our house have likewise gone off the rails a bit lately. Sounds like maybe the kids need a playdate and you need a date with a cup of coffee? Or maybe a lunch date with Joe downtown? I bought a plant for our living room - I'll probably kill it within a month but right now it's helped give me something positive to focus on every time I walk in the room. Hang in there. Mexico was awesome.

Emily said...

Writer's Almanac? Seriously? Over Wait, Wait Don't Tell Me or This American Life?

Danni said...

Joe is indeed awesome. So much cuteness it's hard to believe your bad parenting day could possibly really be that bad. Your kids were obviously not the least bit scarred. You must not be trying hard enough :p

Sarah said...


I too would be pulling my hair out. A long time ago.

What’s up with the thermostat? Is the chimney flue closed?

We’ve been watching Alaska the final frontier on Netflix lately. It might make you feel better. The winter lasts longer AND you have to kill and prepare all your own food ;). I find myself wanting to get out of there immediately until I realize, oh ya, I’m sitting on my couch in a heated room with food in the fridge and a grocery store down the street. Thank. Goodness.

Anyway, the wedding photos are so incredibly adorable I want to hang them in my own living room. And don’t feel bad about not feeling like twirling in a pretty dress all the time. You may not be living up to your own standard, but believe me, you’re way ahead.

You guys are adorable. And yes, thank goodness for Joe. And for you.

Stephanie said...

I am up to take "Husband Joe" to the airport, and I am so glad to have checked in on your blog. That pic of you and Junie and Gigi Bean is priceless. This post was great!