Recently, Steve and I joined my college friends for a Big Chill weekend in Chicago. On the drive to Chicago, the five of us talked and talked and talked. At one point, when talking about our marriages with traveling husbands, these words came out of my mouth: "our relationship works because he is gone."
That sounds horrible, doesn't it? But, it is true. AND Steve agrees to this.
Case in point, Steve is currently home because he is on jury duty. Being on jury duty means that he has been home when the kids and I get home from work and school. Keep in mind, that in normal circumstances Steve is not usually home at this point in the week. I usually go about MY routine with me, myself, I and the kids, and I don't have to deal with a man being in the house.
The other day, the kids and I got home from work and school. When we pulled into the driveway I could see that Steve was mowing the grass. Great! I hate mowing the grass, especially since the self propel is broken. The kids and I got out of the car, waved hello to Daddy, and then headed inside.
I walked into a mess. Steve got excused from jury duty around noon or 1pm, so he had the afternoon at home. When he got into the kitchen he placed his keys, wallet, and bag on the counter top. He probably then ate lunch, as evident by the dirty dishes on the counter. Then he went to the computer and browsed around and ate Halloween candy, as evident by all the empty Halloween wrappers all over the desk. He finished it all off by eating the rest of the peanut butter cookies, and I know this because of the empty cookie container that was left out.
I nearly blew it. Keep calm...keep calm!
When I discovered this mess, Steve was outside planting grass in the area where he removed the deck.
I started to clean up:
- I threw away all the damn candy wrappers
- I loaded the dishwasher and started to wash out the cookie bowl
- and in a fit of rage I threw his backpack into the foyer.
Throwing the bag released a bit of my anger.
I, then, calmly walked out on the back porch and told Steve "I would appreciate it if when you make a mess, you clean it up." Steve asked for clarification, and after my examples of empty wrappers and bowls and dishes, he understood.
About 10 minutes later he walked in after finish all the grass was planted, and told me he was sorry for not cleaning up and sorry for being outside when we got home. Steve really is good about cleaning up and being ready for us when we get home. But, he was running about 15 minutes late on everything. He said that the backyard took forever to mow. When I get upset, I get quiet. I just looked at him and said "this is going on my blog."
You see folks: Steve has been invading my space these last couple days. If he was not home yesterday, any mess on the counter would have been mine. And I can't get pissed off at myself for that. Any dirty dishes would have been mine, and I would be the only one to blame. I don't usually come home to a dirty mess of a kitchen, but I did yesterday and that just set me off. See...invasion!
It is amazing how much of a rhythm the kids and I get into during the week. My usual rhythm is to come home with the kids, settle down, make dinner, ect... But yesterday was totally different, Steve was invading my space. It was like he was invading my rhythm. At this point in our life, I am adjusted to his absence. The norm IS for him to be gone, so when he is home it just throws everything off...and that is why our relationship works because he is gone.
Having said all that, of course I like when Steve is home. It just takes some adjusting...
I am going to use my blog as a sounding board again. As I mentioned above Steve is on jury duty. When he had to report in, there was a case that almost went to trail. Since the case was this close to a trial, the jurors got full detail of the case. At the last minute the defendant pleaded guilty. The case was that of an 8-year-old girl that was raped by her mother's boyfriend. I won't share any more details, since they really are that disturbing.
A lot of the readers on this blog are mothers, and even fathers, and that is why I want to sound off. We have been very clear with telling our kids about appropriate behavior when it comes to this topic. Be clear with your kids too! Don't be shy or embarrassed to talk about it. This stuff really happens, and do what you can to protect your children. I don't think you can ever start too early when it comes to talking about this with your kids.
What we haven't stressed yet, because we didn't even think about until this case, is that if something does happen it is okay to tell someone. Make sure your kids know that if something does happen it is important to tell someone, and that they won't get hurt if they tell someone. The sad thing about this little girl is that she did tell people in her family, but it wasn't until she told a teacher at school that something was done about it.
This asshole got 10 years to life with his plea, and he will struggle BIG TIME in prison. Even the lawyers said that prison won't be easy for this guy. But, as much as this asshole will struggle in prison, so will this little girl...for the rest of her life. My heart goes out to this little girl. So sad.