There’s nothing like being laid up…having to depend on your spouse for everything…to force you to deal with one another’s idiosyncrasies.
Y’all, this experience is marriage counseling on steroids.
Let me list the things that I depend on the Mr. for:
- Getting me to the restroom when I wake up and am groggy.
- Selecting my clothes each day (one of my students told me I looked “snappy” yesterday.
- Getting a chair out so I can put makeup on each morning in front of the bathroom mirror
- Getting my breakfast and cleaning up after me
- Getting my vitamins
- Fixing my lunchbox
- Getting my stuff to the car each morning
- Driving me to work
- Escorting me to my classroom.
- Pushing my wheelchair to the numerous before-school parent conferences that have coincided with my return to school. He makes sure I’m set up for the day before he leaves for his own job.
- Picking me up from school (friends are helping too)
- Keeping the house clean
- Taking care of our dogs
- Fixing my dinner
- Icing my ankle
- Helping me get bathed and into my pajamas
- Washing my clothes
- Decorating for Christmas, shopping, and wrapping presents
- All other duties as required
This man, though.
He has rarely complained…except at 6am.
This guy, on my first day back to work on Wednesday, had a hard time dealing with an early wake-up call.
There I sat, proud as could be, of the fact that I’d straightened my hair and put on makeup, and he was like, “I’m not going to tell you, ‘Good job.’ I don’t do 6am.”
For a gal who has done 4:30-6:00am for the last 26 years, this was a little funny to hear.
He’s not a morning guy.
He’s a 9am, I-can-function-now, kind of man.
Even on the way to school yesterday, he grumbled. I jokingly said, “It’s because you don’t do 6am.”
He nodded in agreement.
Now, let him fuss a bit at 6pm, as he did yesterday on the way out to eat dinner, and he was all good.
Because while he doesn’t do “am,” he is very good at doing “pm.”
Despite the many adjustments to our routine that this injury has forced upon us, there is still so much good.
When we get frustrated with each other, we talk it out.
I’m learning that I have to be careful how I comment about things that need to be done so that he doesn’t think I’m ordering him around. Merely commenting on something is sometimes too much for his already overburdened mind.
He’s tired. He’s functioning as two people right now. I get that.
I am recognizing his need to decompress between work and our night ritual. I respect that. He needs a bit of time just for him without running after me. Though he’s ready to jump up and do what I need, I’m letting him be for that time so he can recharge a little.
He’s learning that I’m going through some fears right now. Although I’ve always been pretty strong emotionally, this fracture did a bit of a number on my psyche. He’s being very tender toward me to help ease me through some things. He’s making accommodations for those fears to keep me placated, and he’s doing this in a very patient manner.
There’s a lot more give without fussing, because ain’t nobody got time (or tears) for that.
We are figuring out what is important and starting to ignore, or quickly let go of, what’s not.
I’d like to think that this process is cultivating an appreciation for one another’s roles in our marriage. I think that the Mr. realizes all of the extra things I did before, and I’m seeing what a tender heart lies under that crusty exterior.
“Thank you” is going a long way in our home. Mutual respect, which time had eroded, has returned.
He may not do 6am, but he’s my knight in shining armor, nonetheless.
#findingjoyinthejourney is alive and well in Chez Auburnchick.