Tom stayed home yesterday while I lay dying. I feel a lot better today, and I’m beyond grateful my husband has a job where he can take a sick day when I need him to. The only thing is, now the inside of my house looks like my putrifying flesh felt like yesterday. On the one hand, he took good care of my children, and on the other, he laid waste to my kitchen and let the kids pillage my pantry (even moreso than usual).
I know that, as a modern woman, I should not say things like “my children” in the context of having their father “take care” of them (it’s not “babysitting,” it’s called “parenting”), and “my house” and “my kitchen,” but the truth is I feel quite proprietary about my kids and my space, and I have certain (admittedly-relatively-low) standards concerning them.
The other truth is that, usually we work really well as a team, sometimes in very gender-determined ways. When Molly had a 104 degree fever last week, Tom gave her a blessing, and I gave her drugs and breastfeeding. He can’t wield the medicine dropper (too softhearted) and I don’t hold the priesthood. This could be frustrating,and sometimes it is, if I step back and consider the existential disparity, but in the moment, in the middle of the night, when the man who is my partner is doing something out of father-love and I am doing something out of mother-wisdom, it just feels right.*
I have not responded to any comments for awhile, and I even have things to say about several of them, I just . . . have been flattened lately. Soon, I hope, and please know that I appreciate each one.
Avery reading to her sick sisters (the pestilence has struck Callie and Lucy also) is so precious, almost enough to overshadow the fact that five minutes later they were in my sickbed, kicking, licking, and, and . . . looking at each other.
*It is obvious, I hope, that him leaving my house like this does not feel right.