Last week I went to a friend’s birthday party. Micah stayed home with the boys while I went and hung out with two other couple, ate tasty Indian food, devoured some white chocolate cheesecake with raspberry syrup, and read questions from Table Topics: Couples Edition. It’s always a joy to peek into somebody else’s relationship to see what makes it tick. But I bet they can’t say the same for me.
Seriously. I don’t remember all the questions that I got asked but here are a few I do remember:
Q: “What behavior do you only engage in when your spouse isn’t around?”
A: “Um, eating chocolate chips? . . . Gosh, I know there’s probably something else. Hmm. I can’t really think of anything . . . hmmm . . . oh, wait, I know. Yelling at the kids.”
Wow. Way to live on the edge, Lizzie.
Oh, and then there was this one:
Q: “What activity from your single life can you no longer engage in now that you are married?” (Or something along those lines.)
A: “Um. I don’t know . . . (thinking) . . . I don’t think you realize how little my life has changed since I got married. Hmmm . . . I don’t stay out as late? But really, that’s because of the boys, not because of Micah. I must have lived a very boring life back in the day . . . oh, dancing. I don’t really dance any more because Micah doesn’t like to dance.”
And, finally, this:
Q: “What should your spouse know about what kinds of gifts you like and don’t like?”
A: “Well, he should know I like books. What I don’t like? Um, hmm. I can’t think of anything I wouldn’t like. I guess maybe anything that would require me having to find a baby-sitter.” (Can I get an amen on that?)
But really, I shouldn’t bore you with my boring boringness any more. Because I’m sure it’s boring to hear the boring thoughts inside my boring head.What I really wanted to do was to share a moment that I was reminded of at this party when the subject of emotional stability was brought up and the question of whether you cry (0r not) in front of your spouse.
Now, Micah has seen me cry plenty of times. Mostly when we were engaged, I’m pretty sure, although there is photographic evidence that I cried on our wedding day — because he sang to me. But some since then as well. In general, however, I’m not much of a crier and certainly not in front of people. This was brought home to me recently when I actually did cry in front of people. Those people being my children. It crossed my mind that they might freak out since this is such a rare occurrence, and they might try to console me or be super nice to me for a little while. But instead of being super nice and giving me hugs and telling me I would be okay, this is what Manchild said:
“So, Mom. When you cry, this is what you do. You take your hands like this, and you wipe the water off your face with them like this . . . .”
And that’s when I realized that, having never seen me do this before (at least not at an age he could remember), he didn’t know that I’m actually an old pro at the crying game. Even better than him, I’d venture to say. Although, truth be told, he’s had plenty of practice. Mostly when his dad’s not around, of course, and I’m free to behave as badly as I want.
What about you? Do you cry in front of your kids? How do they handle it?