And for once I was SuperMom

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Together and Apart

I kissed my husband goodbye this Monday morning.
I drove him to a trailhead, with twelve college students and an assistant, kissed him and walked away as he hiked into the woods.

My husband has a very awesome job.  As director of the WILD Semester, at Gordon College he gets to take twelve students on an eighteen day backpacking trip in his locale of choice.  For the past few years he has chosen Colorado, where his parents live.
While I believe fully in what he does, as his wife it leaves me at home, with the kids, holding the proverbial diaper bag.
I struggle often with feeling like an addendum to his life.  This add on, just waiting for him to finish his awesome adventures so that I can make dinner for him.
He would hate that.
I hate that.

I lost my iPhone.  In one of the weeks while he was gone, I was rushing around, keeping us busy so we wouldn't notice the absence of one of our family members, and I lost it.  I searched, oh, I searched.  It is long gone.  When my husband left today, he left me his phone.  For emergencies.  Today while my children napped I scrolled through the pictures on his phone.  What did I see?  Pictures and videos of his children.  Pictures of me.  Sometimes in the background, behind a sweet child.  Sometimes in the foreground; climbing a rock face, before and after running a half marathon.  Funny how that can be so telling.  We photograph what we find important.  What we want to remember.  What we want to see later on. What we are proud of.

He left me with his computer as well.  I didn't bother to bring mine out with us to Colorado, it's a bit of dinosaur.  Seemed excessive in all the packing.  I had trouble today connecting to the WiFi at his parent's home.  As I ticked through each password that I knew he had, the different versions of the same iteration of a theme, I realized that I know this about him.  I know all his passwords.  All the versions of them.

Apparently I play a big role in his life.

But someone has to take care of the children.
They need to be raised and loved.  Washed.  Diapered.  Hugged.
I don't want to pay someone to do that.  So I do it.

And someone has to earn the money.  And I married an unconventional man, and I like him for that.  All the business majors I met in college I ran away from, I wanted someone unique.  Someone who followed his passions.  Someone outdoorsy.  I found that.  Then I married him.

I suppose that I have to sit in that.  I need to accept that because I married a man that believes in the power of backpacking as personal transformation that occasionally he's going to go backpacking. Without me.
And the jealousy burns.
And the children cry.

Then when he comes home he looks at our children's faces,
'They look different,' he says.
'She's talking more,' he says.
And I know the changes sting.  I know he doesn't want to miss out on the girls.
He tries to fix the stress for me.  He can't.  It just is and will be.

I suppose there are silver edges to our time apart.  It pushes me to seek my own place in a career.  I can use my jealousy over his success and push it towards my own success.  In the evenings when the girls are in bed I can sit and gather my thoughts.  I can do all that introspection that has been building up.  I can whisper all those prayers that have needed to be said.  I can write and paint without feeling like I am abandoning him.

So strange this dance of marriage.  This bonding together of two people.  How we become a unit.  So much more than a partnership.
There are times when we need to be a apart.  How those times create tension and then shed light on things we never saw before.

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