Saturday, July 10, 2010

Why we work...

When I got married many questioned my motives. (That was annoying) Even more questioned my sanity. (That was amusing) and still more questioned my choice.

At first, that last one made me pretty mad...until I looked at "us" on paper. At first glance we shouldn't work...I mean REALLY shouldn't work. I'll break it down for you:

Lets go back a few years to the days of old:

In Highschool the hubster partied hard, I rarely left the house. He was smart, and somehow pulled really good grades (while being high as a kite and annoying all of his teachers) I usually had my nose in a book because even though I'm intelligent, I'm one of those that has to push really hard in certain areas (ick...math) He had green hair and was obsessed with Pink Floyd, I was a cheerleader who was obsessed with musical theatre. When he graduated he went straight into the workforce (and his first marriage, parenthood, and all the trimmings) When I graduated I went straight off to college and a degree, struggling to become allgrowedup.

Needless to say we didn't run in the same circles back in the day. (Though as irony would have it, my best friend dated his best friend for years post High School, we didn't meet for YEARS after)

Even now, we are so very different it's hysterical. I currently obsess and worry over niggly details that no one cares about but me, while he has a much more relaxed "take it as it comes" attitude towards life. He's good with money, I'm decidedly NOT. He's covered in tattoos, I've never had the courage to get even one. I LOVE to read, and wish I had more time to do so- he can't stand books, and doesn't understand why ANYONE would read anything they didn't have to. I'm religious and try to attend services (though not nearly as often as I should) he isn't so sure there's much to believe in in that respect, much less enough of a "something" to entice him to spend his Sunday mornings practicing "Catholic aerobics" as he terms it. I think there are certain things you just DO for your family BECAUSE they are your family, he thinks that family or not respect has to be earned and no bloodline should require you to do anything you don't want to.

And yet, we have a really solid marriage, friendship, and all around life together. I admit it- it makes no sense. We are really a case of opposites attract.

But something happened the other day that makes me go "see...people don't get it THAT'S why we work..."

I saw a billboard advertising the Houston showing of the Broadway tour for "Wicked..." and while I'm dying to go, I didn't say anything because I noticed the dates are on his birthday. The ONLY weekend it's playing is of COURSE on his birthday. So we traveled along, and he says "Hey baby, did you see that billboard back there for that show?" (hmmm) "Sure did, why?"

"You wanna go?"

Now- he saw the dates too...and when I explained to him that that is one of his only days off for the next three weeks, not to MENTION his birthday his response was "I've been wanting to take you to a show for a long time...can't think of a better way to spend my birthday than putting a smile on your face and giving you an excuse to wear a pretty dress...I like it when you wear dresses..."

His birthday, doing something I know he really could care less about, all to see me dressed up and smiling?

I gots me a keeper.

Granted, we probably won't make that show (have you SEEN the ticket prices...jimminy CRICKETS!) but the fact that he even offered shows me just how good I've got it...and he did it without my pulling any of the "usual" female tricks of hints and guilt.

Our happiness stems from the fact that each of us makes sacrifices and compromises daily JUST to see the other one smile...and that is why WE work.

Friday, July 2, 2010

I wasn't always a grown up...

For some reason all the rain this week, and my ever growing brood of Heathens has made me nostalgic. The kids are growing up too fast, and Lil Bit is so much like me that it's pretty scary. (Right down to the drama...which leads me to this post.)

She was throwing herself a good hissy tonight over some awful transgression her infant sister somehow did...(ya know...sitting in mama's lap getting horrible of her...) and her feelings were hurt.

Listening to the rain while looking at that expression on her red tear stained face made me think of an 8 year old me...sitting on a park bench in the rain thinking of how unfair life was while crying my eyes out over some imagined insult my brother and sister had committed.

My family refers to this as the time I "ran away from home..."

Granted- it's not like I ran anywhere EVER. I hate running. I distinctly remember jogging briskly for less than 100 yards and walking at a slow sulky pace the rest of the 2 blocks to the park. It was barely sprinkling and I kept thinking "They'll be sorry they were so mean...I'm never going back...NOT EVER..."

Now, as any kid that has ever ran away from home can tell you, the main point of running away is to make someone come looking for you. (duh)

Of course my mother knew I'd left the house (the siblings were quick to tell her that I was having a "moment" and had taken off faster than anyone had ever seen me move (sad but true) heading toward the park. I wasn't there, but I imagine my mother laughed.

So I sat there...sitting under the trees while it sprinkled bitty summer rain drops on me on the (new at the time) swing....waiting for someone to come.

And I waited.

And I waited.

(what seemed like an eternity to me was probably less than 20 minutes...but lets face it to a kiddo that's a lifetime...)

I'd just about given up hope (and was about to give in to my rumbling tummy as it was close to dinner time when I took off) when I saw my brother and sister...trudging down the street in righteous indignation (the way only kids of 11 and 6 years old can...) shouting "Chhhhhhhhhhhhelseaaaaaaaaa....mama says get your butt home right now or you're in BIG trouble..."

I sat there...fairly stubbornly until they got closer...then gave up and went home.

No one ever apologized for being mean, and I got a tongue lashing from my mama about running off without telling a grown up (even looking back- pretty sure it was one of those tongue in cheek speeches and she and Daddy had a good laugh over it later- I know that everyone has a good laugh over it at every holiday dinner when the story gets retold...)

and I find myself wondering- How do I steel my kids against hurt feelings? My parents method was a bit of tough love and a lot of "get over it..." (or my Daddy's favorite phrase to my drama "save it for the stage"...) but it didn't sink in to me until I was...well, allgrowedup. That you just can't let little everyday petty crap hurt your heart. Is this a lesson that my kids will have to learn the hard way? Will they be naturally tough like their Daddy? (though I will say for all my husband's tough exterior he has a gooey center) How do I explain to them that in reality, there is very little in the world worth getting your feelings hurt over?

Interesting questions...I remember being just heartbroken sitting on that bench on two counts...a) whatever it was my siblings had done to piss me off and b) WHY was it taking so long for someone to come after me? And while it certainly seems silly to me now I cried myself to sleep over it that night thinking no one in my family loved me very much.

I'm sure I'll contribute to some heartbreak in my children's lives...and I'm quite certain that most of it will be completely unintentional...but what about instances like mine? Where it's necessary to hurt a bit to strengthen a lot? How will I handle that?