The following post was inspired by Susan Rieger’s humorous and insightful novel, The Divorce Papers. Young criminal lawyer, Sophie, unwillingly takes her first divorce case with an entertaining and volatile client in this novel, which is told mostly through letters and legal missives. Join From Left to Write on March 18th we discuss The Divorce Papers. As a member, I received a copy of the book for the purposes of this post (which includes an Amazon affiliate link).
I’m not proud to admit this, but here goes…
Sometimes, sometimes, I get a bit grumbly in my head. I start feeling all martyr-ific, and things like lunchboxes and homework folders and calendar planning and stacks of laundry and dinner making and clingy-kid hands shine so bright crimson, I don’t see some of the other stuff.
Yes, sometimes, sometimes, I feel like I’m the only one in the world — or at least our house — who’s expected to do so much thankless work. Day. After. Day. After. Day…
And then Lenny goes on a business trip. And I’m reminded that, while our house would fall apart without good ol’ mom around…well, good ol’ dad? He rocks too.
You see, last year, our family got really spoiled. For the first time in his career, Lenny stopped traveling — almost entirely. We had him home with us — when we giggled goodnight, and when we whispered good morning. And you know what happens when someone’s around a lot? You can totally accidentally start taking them for granted.
But recently, thanks to a well-deserved promotion, he’s become a rocket man again. A jet-setter. (Well, that’s how I see it, at least. He’d have you believe room service pales in comparison to the frozen burritos I make him for dinner at home.)
We’re all feeling his absence.
The kids are more emotional and constantly asking about where he is and when he’s coming home. And come bath time and dish time and bedtime and relax-on-the-couch time, I start wondering those things too.
We’re lucky. We’ve got a really special man on our hands. A man who isn’t afraid of how he looks in blue rubber gloves. A man who not only brings home the bacon, but dishes it out to every company that sends us a thin white envelope each month. A man who isn’t afraid of the attic — or my sappy TV shows.
A man who listens to his kids, and helps Big grow smarter and funnier and stronger and more confident. A man who doesn’t just get Little’s “creativity”, but applauds it — aloud. A man who knows that Pink is so much more than a princess, but still treats her like royalty. A man who encourages his wife to pursue her book-writing dream, and also gives her unexpected, but heartfelt compliments like, “You’re a good soul.”
While we know, in our hearts, how special this man is, his being away so much has been a concrete reminder. But we all know it will be ok. Business may separate us from him now and then, but our hearts are always holding on to the moment when we’ll reunite.