I’m the wife who complains that her husband doesn’t know where anything in the house is, who gets sick of turning his clothing right side out when folding, who rolls her eyes when he asks if we have any soap, batteries, gloves, butter. I sigh because his idea of a great song is anything by Taylor Swift or Flo Rida, same as our ten-year-old. I grumble that he finds televised sports entertaining and holds out hope that I do, too.
I DO NOT FIND TELEVISED SPORTS ENTERTAINING.
I joke that he is my third kid. I decide what he eats and I make sure he has clean clothes to wear. I ensure that his living space is clean and comfortable. I taught him that the Shake from the Shake ‘n’ Bake cannot be refrigerated and reused next month, how to clean a bathroom, that children need to be given lessons repeatedly before they learn. I gently remind him the difference between “wander” and “wonder” and that he might consider saying “ain’t” a little less than he does. I continue to teach him basic skills I can’t believe he doesn’t know already.
He is the one with the job that makes money to support our family. He handles our taxes. He fixes the smoke detector when it chirps, the dishwasher when it fills up, and takes care of any utility issues we have. He mows the lawn in the spring and summer, rakes the leaves in the fall, and shovels the snow in the winter. He builds shelving systems out of planks of wood. He makes most of our social plans. When we go out he breaks the ice with people. When he is away, I toss and turn at night. When he is home, I sleep like a baby.
I am the one without a plan, a schedule. I screw up every hotel reservation I make. I don’t understand financial terms or how health insurance works. When I have a problem, I run to him for advice. When we have to leave at 9:30, I am ready at ten. When we make vacation plans, I sit around idly as he does all the work and makes all the decisions, and I nod my head as he asks if the dates are okay. Sometimes they’re not. When we go places together, he drives. I am inept at directions and measurements. Like, I can’t read a measuring tape.
I joke that he’s my third kid.
But I’m pretty sure that I am his.