Dear Husband of Mine,
I know that you love me. I know it by the way you kiss my cheeks as you brush past me, and the delight you take in my propensity to mix up words, even if you don't tell me often.
And yet, you do. And I am very grateful for that.
But this morning, I awoke ragged and weary from a long night of tending to our children. (What was up with that, by the way?) Even with your help, I got very little good sleep. And that is on top of other nights as of late of very little good sleep. Of course, you already know this.
And so I am feeling rather tender at the moment. I know it by the irritation I feel at the dishes left in the sink, and the way you're walking around me -- oblivious, it seems, to my current state of utter exhaustion.
So please, put down the sandwich bread and turn towards me. If for only two minutes of your day, you might take me in and offer me your compassion, I would be very grateful. Warning: I may try to shrug you off or say something unkind in my grumpy state. Please stay with me. I need your love right now, even if I act as if I do not.
And because you might raise an eyebrow to what exactly I mean by compassion right now, I will tell you.
Tell me that you can see how tired I am, and how hard it must be to do what needs to be done today and take care of myself, too. You can thank me in advance for performing the grand feat of getting our three kids ready and out the door this morning. Because you know how challenging that can be.
You might ask me about one of the ideas that is bouncing excitedly and impatiently within my head -- one of the many that is often put on hold to assuage our daughter's fears about her "shark teeth" coming in, or to wipe our son's bum after another bout of diarrhea, or to hold and rock and nurse our baby, who needs me, it seems, all-of-the-time.
Because those ideas fuel me, especially on days like these -- days when there are seemingly 50 other things to be tended to beyond my big, brilliant, bubbly ideas.
You see, after you leave, I will finish cleaning the bits of egg off of the floor, packing snacks and lunches, straightening up, repeating directions three times over, making myself somewhat presentable, making sure everyone has their socks and coats on, and herding our children off to their respective places.
Then, I will come home and sit down at my computer -- and stare blankly for a while. And the dozens of things running through my mind earlier this morning will somehow, suddenly, elude me. I will wish that I had written them all down earlier. But, alas, I was busy wiping poop.
I will then scoot upstairs a couple of times to grab the damp sheets from our daughter's bed and bring the dirty diapers back down. But, mostly, I will try to tune out the messiness surrounding me so that I can focus on my work.
And when you arrive home tonight, I will be changing into my workout clothes, grabbing my water bottle and passing you snippets about the day. I hope that I will have written at least one good draft of an article, touched base with a few clients, contacted that specialist, called my Grandma to plan our visit this weekend, remembered to reimburse my friend for picking up that Christmas gift, booked our train tickets to NYC for A's birthday, and made some decent progress on my website.
But as long as the children are safely tucked inside of our house and I still have bubbly ideas bouncing in my head, I will carry on. Even if many of those things still linger. And they likely will.
Oh, and I forgot to mention that today is a half day at school. (Sigh.)
So when you pass me on my way out tonight, please give me a smile, or a "go get 'em," even if putting the three kids to bed, after your own busy day, is the last thing you want to do. Because I need your support to resist the incredible force field of all-the-reasons-not-to-go when five-thirty rolls around.
And you'll be happy you did when I return home in better spirits. I will no doubt want to sit down with you -- and a glass of wine perhaps -- and tell you all about my day. I know that I'll probably go on and on, as I often do, with anecdotes and commentary. Like when our daughter told me that fart is probably just Hebrew for wind and, in fact, not a bad word. Or when our son confided in me that the eggs in his scrotum probably would not hatch after all. (Sigh).
I may share that I cried when I read about the tragic death of a stranger -- and that my tears were largely a reflection of how deeply grateful I am for the whole, crazy, lovely, chaotic life of ours. How I could not imagine waking up one morning and having any one of the pieces missing.
You see, the life we've created together is more than I ever imagined. And I get to be the one who puts it all together day after day. So while that job might leave me weary at times, and I might snip (or bite) at you in my exhaustion, there is no other place I'd rather be.
But today is one of those days where even the little things might trigger me. So, please, be gentle with me -- and generous with your love.
And please, move your soccer bag from the entryway. I am certain by now that it will not actually walk itself.