He walks in the door from a long day of work, the little boy rushes to greet him at the door and show his whatever toy he is playing with as if it is the most magical toy of all. Her little eyes sparkle and a smile covers her face. And you know, I love that moment, that game changing moment when the 2:1 ratio is evened out. Two more hands, another person for them to love on, read: climb all over.
It’s so easy to forget that he got up at least four hours earlier than the rest of us, working all day for the man. It’s easy to forget because I’ve been changing diapers and reminding a little boy that his baby sister is not a jungle gym. But it’s dangerous, when you start keeping points, “Well I did this all day and you…” It will never ends well, my friends. And here’s the thing we must remember, we’re on the same team. We’re in this together, completely, always, both of us doing our share for each other, for our family. Isn’t this the first thing we forget?
Two kids. Two jobs. Two art shops. This is our reality. Our exhaustion was leaving us less creative and less than ideal versions of ourselves. So, this summer in desperation, we created a system. We’re not big on systems, yuck, but this one we love.
One day a week, when Matt come home from work, he walks in the door and we all get hugs and kisses. Then he gathers his sketchbook and computer and gets back in the car and goes where ever he pleases. He draws, he sits, he thinks uninterrupted thoughts. He works on his newest print. When he comes home, he’s refreshed and ready to jump into the beautiful madness.
Truthfully, the moments leading up to this can be rough, because most of those days, the kids are on their absolute BEST behavior and he returns home to crying babies and a wife who is hoping…eeekk, take me with you!!. Yet, I know he needs this and a refreshed husband is the best kind. Those hours might be long for me, but it’s about our family, the wellbeing of all.
And later in the week, on one glorious day, this girl gets herself ready and carries the very smallest purse possible (this is key), kisses her lovely family and walks out the door. My friends, I do anything, whatever in the world I want, alone, with a small purse. It makes you feel all kinds of amazing, you know, to just be one with yourself. I walk through the rows of fabric, feeling the textiles between my fingers, I drink a coffee while sitting at a table, being needed by none. No way is this time for errands, no freaking way. Don’t even think about it.
Yesterday, I found myself in the cozy chair, eating a slice of almond peach bread and drinking a cold press coffee. I started reading Anne of Green Gables. I am sad to confess that I have never read this before, I mean, how can I live with myself. It’s amazing, delightful, witty, funny, brilliant. I want to get lost in the pages. It was magical. When was the last time you just sat and read a book?
After, my family needed food, but happily I walked into my local Trader Joe’s. I wandered aimlessly, slower than ever, child-free and as I stood in front the most lovely selection of cheeses, starring into the stacks of brie, bleu, and chevre, two different associates approached me, “Can I help you find something, you look lost.” I chuckled and responded with a calm smile, “Oh no, I’m absolutely fine, just fine. Thank you.”
You know, sometimes I return home to a disaster of a mess, sheer wildness, and a husband who thinks, don’t ever leave again, but he never complains.
It’s about the team.
I’m no expert, but I think this has done wonders for us. Do you have your own system? Tell me about it. And guys, if it’s been a while, you should probably kick your wife out for a few hours, just her and a small purse.