Sunday, February 14, 2016

Love in the Time of Kohler

Living in the woods with a well leads to lots of mineral deposits on one's shower head.
My husband took ours off, soaked it for a while, and then went to Lowe's to see what new shower head creations had come out in the past few years.
He came home with a double headed situation on which both heads had choices of streams and power and whatnot.

This is where the Opposites Attract Theory comes into play for the 972nd time in our marriage.

So after checking all settings, on my tiptoes trying to reach the thing, water spraying in my face, I decided on the: All of it come out of just one of the heads-strong enough to get soap and conditioner out of my thick hair- efficiency setting because LET'S GO PEOPLE! I GOT THINGS TO DO!

The next day I went to take my shower and both heads had water coming out of them again. One had a rain-like setting on and the other held a little more pressure. Very: Hey-Good morning-hang out and wake up-soothing you to a mode of awakeness to allow for a drive to work.

Up on my tip toes again, I switched it back to Kate. The next morning I, again, switched it back to Kate. Then, the next morning, it was still on the setting I preferred.
I thought, a-ha!
He has seen the light!
Mine was so much better.

A week later, the husband setting was occasionally re-engaged and I finally asked him,

"How do you decide which setting to use each morning?"
"I use the same one each time."
"No, sometimes I get in and it is still on my setting."
"That is because I love you and I switch it back for you."


"Sometimes I forget to, but mainly I try to put it back for you."

"thank you."

"Because I love you."


So the next morning, when I had finished my shower, I set the shower heads to the way he liked them. By that time in my shower, I wasn't as light-headed and winded standing on my toes with arms over head first thing in the morning, so the struggle was gone. And as I did it I thought,

"I love him."

There are mornings we both forget to switch it. We sometimes joke that night how we weren't loved when we woke up to shower. It is the silliest and stupidest thing ever- and it is the realest and most important thing ever.

In our lives of long work days and children shuffling and cooking and cleaning and crisis fixing and exhaustion wrangling, we sometimes barely see each other. And when we do, we blurt the first thing we had to remember to tell each other. It isn't always, "I love you." It should be, of course. But...

I pass out at 9:20 pm. He goes to bed at 2am. Some days nothing was said or shared, and no hug and sometimes no goodnight occurs as we are trying to get our kids to bed and listening to their fears and worries that only come out at 9pm.

But in the morning I turn on the shower, and the water is all business and single-headed and I think,

"He loves me."

And then as I am about to turn off the water and switch the setting to the relaxing, it is going to be ok setting, I think,

"I love you, too."

And I know he hears it a few hours later when he wakes up, turns on the shower, and I am already gone. And I know he smiles, too.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

"It Doesn't Make Sense"

"Mommy? Can I have a hug?"

My room was dark at 9:15 last night. I was ready to be alone with my sadness at losing a friend and all the grief that it had stirred up from the past.

My middle child had gone to bed in a huff. She was probably thinking how mad she was and how mean everyone was and how unjust the world is.

Then she probably thought just about how unjust the world is.

Then she probably thought, I need mommy.

She bent over the bed for the hug and began to sob, so I pulled her in bed with me and held her quietly while she filled my pillowcase with those tears reserved for sadness. So big and full of grief that washes down the face.

I let her cry.

After a few minutes she caught her breath.

"It isn't fair that people can be fine and then be gone!" she shook out.

"No. It isn't."

"And it isn't fair for people to die after a long time being sick because they are so tired."

"That is true, too."

"It doesn't make sense. Anyone can die at any moment."

And there it was. What a lot of us have been thinking.
You can hear that tomorrow isn't promised  and understand it, but you don't get it until you say "See you tomorrow," and that tomorrow doesn't come.

"Well, we can live our lives afraid of dying or afraid someone will die, but then we don't get to live our lives. We don't get any promises. Death is a part of our lives. And it is sad. It can be shocking which can take a lot longer to process. It can be time for someone to pass. It will always be sad. Sad also shows us what happiness is."

The tears quieted and soon I got a very wet kiss on the cheek. Her big sister came in for a hug, too, and then walked her little sister out of the room.

I know that this acute sadness will pass, eventually. I wear it in honor of someone who earned to be mourned so completely.