something invisible can make so much music.

Is it wrong for me to not want my husband away from home for five days at a time? I have a full-time job. I'm lucky enough to be working from home, but when S is not here I'm working and taking full care of little Rowan too. It's after 10 p.m., and I'm just barely eating dinner. It's been eight hours since I last ate.

To intensify matters, this bundle of sweetness puts on the saddest face--quivering lip and all--when it's time for any kind of sleep. I've given up trying to do the whole nighttime routine. Then put him in his crib half awake and leave the room hoping he falls asleep without a fuss, because he stopped doing that.
He fights it so much, I just end nursing him to sleep in our bed.

We all share a room anyway and R has yet to spend a whole night outside of our bed. He's one of those babies who wakes up a lot. And I'm one of those mommies who just really wants to sleep for one more session between feedings. I talk to him like I would talk to my alarm clock back when I needed one: Just 10 more minutes. C'mon. Mama just needs 10 more minutes. 10 more. Just 10 more. (This could go on for hours.) When S is here, he takes Rowan in the morning, and it's a huge help. S gets his deepest sleep at night, and I get my deepest sleep in the morning, so it works out well. OK. That's enough about our sleeping habits.

{the old days}
I work during the week, and S mostly works on weekends, guiding white-water rafting trips. This means a lot of me never leaving the house, because--here's the kicker--we only have one car. And driving six hours with a baby, three of which find me driving a screaming baby by myself and stopping a whole bunch just isn't my cup of tea. We tried it once.

So today after I got the news that S won't be returning for another two nights, I asked myself that opening question. Is it wrong to want my husband to come home every day? I mean I want to be that wife who can just handle anything and that mom who just doesn't need help. But I'm feeling a little desperate here, you guys. I thought moving here was going to be easier. I knew some things would be difficult, but I wasn't prepared for just how much. And even as I write this, I hang my head in shame, because I know we have it so much easier than many couples. Not to mention you single mamas. I'm in awe of you. (If I was writing in a place that is not this blog, I would totally delete all the smaller text. And I wouldn't talk about having deleted it either. But this doesn't change the fact that I am in awe of single mamas.)

Sorry for being dark. This has digressed so much more than I planned. I wanted to write one thought cleanly, simply: Is it wrong to want to sleep with my husband every night? And then move on to what I did while this thought was knocking around in my mind like an ugly marble. Rowan took me for a walk. He led the way in the ergo, like he always does. He lets me choose the route, and I decided to do something different than yesterday. I like to mix it up.

{wind chimes by supersassafras}
As we circled back toward the house, we decided it was so windy we should walk a bit longer to visit yesterday's wind chimes.

Enter my favorite house in this neighborhood. It's an unassuming corner lot with an old sky-blue pickup on one street and a yellow VW bus on the other. The place has tranquil landscaping, old trees, roses, jasmine, wisteria, a gazebo haloed by potted basil and tomatoes. And large guttural wind chimes sing beneath a canopy tree. Benches everywhere. And a white Alice-in-Wonderland-type gate opens into it all. The only other fence is a squat wavy row of ivy, which you could easily step over.

Rowan and I walk toward the music and stop to listen to it. Everything changes in that little space of sidewalk. We step into a bubble surrounded by a field of light. We listen to the chimes' music, and it is so quiet. We hear a car start and pull out of (what I thought was the neighbor's) driveway. A man is driving an old woman--his mother I think--somewhere, and they stop. I look up, and then back down at Rowan to ask if we should be heading home. The man gets out of his car and says that if I like it, I can get closer. This is his house. He opens the magic gate for us and tells us we are welcome whenever we want. I walk into wonderland as they drive off. Rowan and I sidle up close to the chimes, listening to several gusts of song.

On the way home I tell Rowan how much better I feel. That I could have stayed there all day. That I could do my work there. That I could become a zen monk there. That we need to have a house and a garden someday. And that we definitely need some of these wind chimes.


Ian Frederick Caton said...

I enjoyed your description of your neighborhood and the wind chimes. Some images I enjoyed: yellow VW bus, blue pickup truck, white Alice in Wonderland gate ...

Lots of colors and sounds in your writing!

So of course its not wrong to want to be with the ones we love, but little sister we live in hard times right now and having any kind of a job in this climate is a real blessing and we need to hold on to that with all we got. I heard the unemployment rate was actually worse right now than it was at the height of the Great Depression, and we don't have the Ag base to grow our own food on our own land anymore. So its hard times all around. My older brother is out of a job, lost 2 jobs in the span of 3 months or some such thing. And its tough, real tough. We gotta make adjustments where we can, and hold each other and love each other where we can too.

Love reading your writings, keep it up!

Anonymous said...

I have absolutely no idea how single mothers do it. Cannot imagine what that is like.

I fully understand that you'd like S to be home. I'm like that too. Luckily hubby doesn't have to be away because of work very often. But I'm also glad that S has a job!

One advice: make sure that Rowan is not already tired before putting him to bed. Put him to bed at least 15 minutes before he gets tired and see what happens. Make sure he goes to bed early and you should be able to have the evenings all to yourself.

Love your walk, by the way. Sounds like a good neighbour you have there. But do you live far away from civilization?!! ;-)

Anonymous said...

No, it's not wrong to want him to be home. I would miss my husband (hypothetical husband) if he had to be away all the time. Though... I guess you have to manage for now :( I'm sure it'll get better!


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