I colored Sean a beautiful picture and wrote a note along the side to stick into his lunch today. See, he’s been late. A lot. Sean works, a lot. He works hard. He puts all of himself into his job each and every day. The last two years most days I wake up and his side of the bed is empty, and most days I lay our sweet babies down at night and he hasn’t come home yet. I can’t say that it hasn’t put a strain on us, because it has. I am so grateful to have a husband who works so hard to provide for his family, but that doesn’t change how lonely and hard my days are. By the time he would arrive home, I’d have no energy to even tell him I was upset. I felt myself growing distant and quiet as he settled into his new job. He knew that something was wrong, but what could he do? What could he say?
Sean brought home some toy from the Cavs game he went to on Sunday and Evie asked me all day if she could play with it. I told her when Daddy got home they could play with it together. In all honesty, I had no clue what it was or what to do with it so I couldn’t have played with it if I wanted to; but I didn’t want to either. The little guy using the toy on the packaging looked exactly how what Evie would if I opened it , and shit I don’t want to deal with that today.
But last night, as the night went on without him again, I was angry. He arrived home just minutes before bed. He walked through the door and the kids no longer listened to me and wouldn’t get ready for bed. Dad was home. It was time to play. The last 45 minutes I spent calming them down and getting them settled to climb into bed was for nothing. Evie remembered the toy as soon as Sean walked in and ran into her room and grabbed it. She was so excited and jumped next to him asking him over and over to play with it. I snapped. I was pissed that she was all excited again and I wanted her to go to bed. I was mad that he was late. I was tired.
He wants to give all of himself into his work so that he can be successful. It’s admirable how hard he works. He provides everything we need, and most of everything we want; except him and his time. Finding a balance between how much to give to his career and how much to give to his family is complex. I have to remind myself everyday as the clock ticks forward that he isn’t choosing work over us he is choosing work for us. He is taking care of us. His part in all of this is to work so that I can be home and raise our daughters. He wants me here, and he works these long days so that I can be here. As my day drags on and I go crazy from spending every waking minute with these kids, his heart aches spending every waking minute away from these kids.
He didn’t say anything. He just helped me put them to bed. He understood why I was acting like that, which makes him even sweeter and me even worse. I can’t stop myself from getting angry all the time. I’m going to make mistake after mistake in this marriage and in our life together, but right now I have the power to recognize that I’m not angry at all, I’m sad. I miss my husband. My kids miss their dad. I have the power to recognize that I am wrong in the way I handled this. I have the grace to admit it, and apologize.
I was selfish. In that moment I needed the kids to go to bed so I could be done with my day. In that moment I should have let Sean and Evie play. I should have let him soak up all of her love and goodness. I should have let him make memories with her. I should have let her enjoy the wonderful father that she has. He should have been able to laugh with her, play with the stupid toy and then take all of that joy to work with him the next day. Each night he gets home just ten minutes before bed is a small window into my world. A small window where he can breathe in all of our fresh air. Fill his lungs with the goodness that is my air and take it to work with him the next morning.
So I’ll put these silly pictures in his lunch and try to release my inner tension, but tonight I will hug him when that door finally does open. I will ask him how his day was. I will listen to another story about accounting, aka the most boring job on the planet to listen to stories about. I will remember that at then end of a long battle today, he is my ally coming home to relieve my troops. He is not my enemy, and if we fight together we can make it to the promiseland (the couch, our bed, eachother…). We are working hard to find time where there isn’t any. We are trying to squeeze in dates, and squeeze in alone time. I have to remember, each and every day, that it’s just as important that I allow him to squeeze in time to play with that toy, even if it means bed time is a little later than normal. Even if it means I’m “on duty” a little bit longer. That toy, that ten minutes, is what builds up our family. It is what makes our memories. It is what glues together this family and our marriage. It is what fills his lungs. I’ve always got another ten minutes in me.
Thank you Sean for everything you do for us. Words will always fall short in describing my gratitude. Please know that I see you, and all of your effort.
song of the day: