Thursday, April 3, 2014

Running Away from Home

My bag is packed and waiting by the door.  Handwritten notes sit on the gathering table for every single person in our family (including one final "to do" checklist for myself).   All that remains is to wait the final few hours until I leave all three children at home with their daddy for two days....and then to stop myself from texting him every five minutes to make sure everything is ok during that time.

This is one of those occasions when I must demonstrate confidence and trust in my spouse by not micromanaging or second guessing his every simply letting him be a father to his children (and trusting that my heavenly Father will help this earthly father not let the house burn to the ground).

This "trusting" is hard. It's not that my husband is a bad father; he's actually quite wonderful, and the children are excited at just the thought of this special time with daddy.  

It's just that he's not a mother.

It's taken me years to realize that the skills needed to successfully mother a brood of children are inextricably wound into my female DNA.  What comes naturally to me is so foreign to him, no matter how many times I try to explain it and teach him the tricks of the trade to make parenting easier.

The when's and how's of showing mercy and dropping the axe elude him.  The carefully crafted "rules of the farm" that harmonize together into a beautiful symphony sometimes seem arbitrary to him...until he sees the train wreck resulting from the withdrawal of a single instrument.

He dresses our children every Saturday and yet still has no idea whose clothes are whose and which are for on-the-farm filthiness and which are for "town only."  Unlike a mother, he doesn't naturally think five steps ahead to know that the day after a rainstorm, you should never allow the children to wear light colors because of the mud that will somehow leap off the ground by itself (much like that golden calf that leapt out of the fire) and onto their clothes. 

Worse, husband doesn't have that mom radar to be able to tell when the kids are lying, doesn't know their hiding places when they're supposedly "out of earshot," and doesn't understand that an "I don't know" answer almost always means "I don't want to tell you" nor how to use the "mommy glare" to pull the real story from a five year old's mouth.  
And so, I write notes to my children, giving each of them specific responsibilities to remind daddy of X, Y, and Z over the next two days.  I then check and double check my list to husband in an attempt to write down everything I can possibly think of to ward off every probable disaster.

What to do if someone spikes a fever.  Who gets what medications and when.  When to ask the doctor for a shot and when to ask for horse pill (not the liquid!) antibiotics.  Who gets to stop eye drops for pink eye on Friday and who still has to take them no matter what they say. 

I breathe deep, remembering how I  wasn’t even out of the driveway last Saturday on my way to a luncheon ten minutes away and number one son was already “missing.”

But even though he doesn't know all the house rules by heart, even though my laundry pile will likely be more "interesting" than usual, and even though sugar/McDonald's will definitely be classified as a new food group, I relinquish the mom hat and put husband fully in charge, trusting the man I love to do his very best...and relying on God to take up the slack.

1 comment:

  1. LOVE this! Just love it. When you pen the words of your heart, it makes my heart wanna sing!