Tuesday, June 17, 2008

On My Own

Baroy has a play--a play he wrote--opening in a week-and-a-half down in Anaheim. (There is an entire post that could go here about how I was about to post a link to the show, and then realized that somehow, while posting links to my Time article doesn't set off my Stalker Alert System, posting information that not only gives Baroy's name, but the times and dates of where he will be really and truly does. Which actually makes sense, since Stalker Girl knows my name...it's not like I'm giving her extra information if she were somehow to find this place. But to give not just Baroy's name, but his whereabouts...I know it's been years since she's been any sort of 'real' threat, and yet I'm just not well enough for that. Still, if you live anywhere near Anaheim and would like the info, just drop me an email at ihavethings at gmail dot com, and I'll be MORE than happy to pimp his show to you!)

Anyway. As I was saying, he has this show opening. And it is a wonderful thing, because he is in all his glory right now. He's feeling useful and worthy, and those are feelings his life doesn't often engender in him.

But it means that he's away from home a lot. For the past month, they've been rehearsing three or four times a week, and he wants to be there at every single rehearsal. He's been helping the theater's owners (friends of ours) build the set, so he goes down during the daytime sometimes, too. And this week and next, they're rehearsing five or six nights out of seven...and they start early and end late.

Keep in mind that this is a man who, even when he's working, works from home. It's WEIRD not having him here. All of our schedules and all of our routines are based on the idea that he's the go-to guy, that I never have to worry that I have to be home at a certain time, because he's there to pick up my slack if needed.

So I was sort of dreading these weeks, figuring that I was going to be completely and totally overwhelmed by having to actually be solely responsible for my children. (Shudder. The horror!)

Instead, I've been completely and totally overwhelmed by coming to realize how much of a slacker I've become these past couple of years, just by knowing that Baroy has my back.

In other words, this is a piece of cake. When I *know* that I'm the one who has to pick up the kids, cook dinner, clean up afterwards, supervise all activities and homework, tidy up around the house, and get both of them to bed at night, I do it. I do it easily. Not only have I been doing it, I've been going above and beyond, deep cleaning here and there as I go, taking time out to play with N when I normally would kvetch about how I have work to do, spending time cuddling and chatting with Em. And I've even been able to find ample 'me' time, though rather than long walks during the afterschool hours, I've instead relocated to the backyard garden where I can still be available when needed. That doesn't really bother me at all. I love gardening. (Em commented to me last night, when I came inside from weeding, that whenever I work in my garden I come back in a much better mood. She's right. Gardening is definitely one of my most potent antidepressants.)

And yet, when Baroy is home and he asks me to help him out with one of what I perceive to be HIS tasks (he cleans up after dinner, he is in charge of certain activities, he tidies up around the house, he gets one of the kids to bed while I do the other), well...I'm just surprised I've never injured an ocular muscle, what with all the eye-rolling I do in response. How can I be expected to do EVERYthing around here! I'm only one person! It's not faaaaaaaiiiiiiiiiirrrrrrrrr!


I know this would be no fun to do over the long term. I'm not Superwoman, and Doing It All would get really old, really quickly. I love having Baroy here to help out. But I'm truly surprised by how a circumstance that I thought would show up all my parenting weaknesses has instead showed up my resilience. I can do this. I really can.

Just don't tell Baroy. Because I'm planning on getting him to pay me back for my HUGE SACRIFICE for months to come, once the play closes.


Green said...

Em doesn't know how good she has it. By the time I was her age, I had to set the table (by N's age for that one), clean up from dinner, wash the table, and electric broom the kitchen floor. Oh, and by the time I was N's age I put myself to sleep. I can't even imagine what you do to put someone Em's age to sleep.

It's not that I think you spoil your kids because I don't, I just hope they realize what they are getting and appreciate it and realize not everyone gets that.

Anonymous said...

Congrats to Baroy!

And, yes, I know exactly what you mean. I am a much more efficient parent when there is no possibility of help or a second shift, or time to myself.