Ever feel like you end up saying or thinking, “I didn’t mean it that way,” a hell of a lot more than is ok?
Sean and I have been on parallel paths for a while now, and by parallel I don’t mean side by side or together, I mean doing separate activities at the same time.
It’s owning a small business.
It’s being parents of a toddler.
It’s the reality of living in today’s world.
And above all that, it sucks.
I miss him. He misses me. Briar misses him. It all translates to everybody being frustrated. Why is it that when what you want the most is to hug or talk or just be together little things getting the way and you find yourself with a mouthful of: “I didn’t mean it that way!”?
I don’t have TIVO, but if I understand it correctly you can stop a live television program and then restart it as it suits you. Wouldn’t this help in life?
You’re sitting there, someone says something or looks at something or whatever and you go –
And you take a deep breath or you explain to yourself “I know that what I am hearing, seeing or feeling is absolutely not what is really happening,” or, “Hey, sunshine, don’t say that thing that is on the tip of your tongue cause it will cease to feel good before it even reaches the other person’s ears. You’ll hurt yourself desperately jerking to retrieve the words and stuff them back down your gullet.”
Then you restart the program. No harm, no foul.
But no, we live in a world that allows us to sabotage ourselves by bursting out and saying something that only buries us that much deeper in whatever is bothering us.
Where is this all coming from you say?
Last night we had gotten Briar down for the night. Sean didn’t have to go back to work. We were going to hang out, spend some time together. We had been having trouble getting in synch, but we were finally back on track. He innocently sat at the computer and started to type in an address with a smile on his face-
“What are you doing?” I practically screeched.
“Checking to see…”
“When would I have had time? There’s nothing there. We have clean laundry. There are no dirty dishes, but I haven’t done an entry.”
His shoulders fell and he started to say something about thinking I enjoyed writing and that he thought it made me feel so good afterwards.
My emotions got so tangled up I couldn’t explain what I was feeling. Of course I want to write. I am so proud of my family and my life. I love how I feel after I do it, but there has just been so much to do with him working 8am-12am shifts for weeks on end. You know what came out? I am embarrassed to even repeat it.
“I am pregnant you know. I have to sleep once all the house work is done and Briar is settled because I sure don’t get any naps.”
God it just hung there, more harsh than a direct slap to his face would have been.
“I didn’t mean it that way!
I just want to sit in your lap, kiss your forehead and hold your hand.”
That’s what was in my head. That’s what my heart was wishing I could say. But of course that was not what real life scripted.
Sean and I are incredibly lucky because at some point between getting engaged and getting married we committed. We made that decision that you have to make and really believe in, to face down anything in order to stay together.
You have to swallow your pride, you have to admit when you are wrong, you have to go against every instinct your prideful self sometimes throws at you in order to really commit to making it work. And I have to say it is the most rewarding decision we have ever made. I’ll be the first to admit that I hate, literally hate, admitting that I am wrong. But knowing that on the other side of that awful feeling is a hug, or better yet the laughter you share with someone you love when you realize you conquered the obstacle and can get back to loving each other helps me swallow my pride every time. Or it gives me the strength to say things I know won’t be easy for him to hear.
Last night we ended up talking. Though Sean gets credit because I was going to let us lie awake in stormy silence. He reached for me and apologized. He didn’t need to do that, but he got the ball rolling for us and before long we were working from the script that had us saying what we really meant, what we really felt, and what we needed to lead us back to each other.
No one said it was going to be easy. They didn’t say how sweet it would be either. Loving Sean makes me a better person and makes my life a richer experience. I am so grateful that we are smart enough to see the value in what we have together and work through whatever comes our way.
This morning we rode to work together. When we arrived at the sitter’s we turned to look at Briar and she was sitting completely upright in her seat, her little coat hood up in an elfin way, with her eyes closed. She was asleep. She looked so impossibly perfect. We just sat there grinning at her.
Briar is what has come from our commitment. There is no greater affirmation of our efforts than that perfect little person.