Last night we went to my girlfriend’s birthday party and my husband held the wee baby there – little 5 month old Rosemary – almost incessantly. She was in a hot pink bunting and glued to his chest all night like a little starfish. It was very sweet to see Ralph with a young baby again.
It seems like I am honing the balancing act of being married better and better these days. The biggest difference I can feel is that I have held my Man far less responsible to soothe my anxieties than I used to. And I’ve refrained from taking his up automatically, as well. Ralph and I are so much alike that we share the same desires, the same sense of humor, the same standards, and the same worries. This is a great thing when it comes to working in synchronicity (yesterday he instinctively chose to do a dreaded chore because he knew I was feeling down about the house, and his efforts really “hit the spot” to easing my bad mood), but is a real strain when pressures come up if they are the same thing that trigger us both.
Probably the best thing I can do for him is to slow down, make eye contact, and accept the hugs and kisses that he wants to give and receive. This is hard for me, mostly because the last four years have been been spent learning and performing the varied acts of “Mother-love” – so different than wifely love. In other words, the love I show for my children only in part consists of openness and intimacy. The rest of it is demonstrated by acts of maintenance – my ability to keep a clean house, cook good meals, wipe their noses regularly, keep them in clean clothes, keep a line of instructional chatter, and occasionally nip at their heels. A husband needs far less servitude and much more attention and respectful intimacy (as opposed to my children, who during the course of the day I am kissing, stroking, and softly yet constantly pinching their fabulous bottoms and you can’t stop me, it’s my right as a Mom and a Freak). Anyway, I think in the last four years I have spent a lot of this maintenance love on my husband and these days I am moving toward what he needs more (read = bj’s). OK, my idea of a joke, people! (No, seriously. He wants bj’s. A lot of them).
Just as an addendum – five minutes after I was thinking all these profound thoughts my husband came out on the porch where I was having a little “me-time” (September’s a smoking month, FYI) and called me a “smelly pirate hooker”. So, you know, we’re obviously on the same page.