Running in Parallel

I sit amidst a pile of papers in my office. I’m trying really hard not to have that third cup of coffee, bleary from yet one more night spilling into one more day. We had another one of those talks last night,  you know, the ones that include words such as “this just isn’t working” (me)… “then I’m just not the guy” (him)… and me “overwhelmed”.

Everyone knows we should not be having these talks at 11 o’clock at night. We know. I know. I push for it anyway.

Him: “I don’t know what I can say at this point that would get us to sleep tonight.”

I know he doesn’t know and he’s right. There is probably very little that will make me happy right now.

I still want him to know. I want him to come up with a creative solution and fix it. I’m tired of racking my brain trying to figure out how by myself. How to make this life a more fun and a little less desperate.  I used to think I had a brain. Now I can’t think past eggs for breakfast and how to get all of us out of the house fast enough because we are always late. I feel like a gerbil in a cage, just running.

I cover myself with the multiple of baby blankets that have been spread over the futon. These were originally piled in the give-away box only to be pulled out and put to use by my four year old. I am glad they are there as I am cold. I have since left our bed. I feel the need to try to breathe.

“Suzy, please come back to bed.”

These topics, they have been discussed before.  The finances. The mess. The lack of time and lovemaking. His lack of initiation in topic thereof. The incomplete trim in the hallway and a quarter of a wall that still needs to be painted. But just like the dishes and the laundry, the topics keep coming back. (The fact that the dishes and laundry are what typically keeps us from moving forward in other areas isn’t lost on me. ) There just isn’t any completeness.

We are both running at our own full speeds ahead. Each doing the best they can. Each running a little too parallel to the other to be functioning properly. There seem to be too many unfinished projects and things still to do (it’s March and I have not started taxes) and what not. That’s why at 11 o’clock at night when it all comes to a standstill and my body is full of angst, it’s hard to get past it. I ravel in all our issues.

He eventually kisses me on the forehead, pulls up one of the baby blankets to my chin and says, if you want to sleep up here that fine but don’t say I don’t want you, because that’s not true. And walks back to bed.

After a while I swallow my pride, get a drink of water and make my way into bed because deep down inside I know he is the right guy even if he doesn’t always do the right things. He is doing the best he can.  Even though we see each other every day, the main problem is that I miss him. It’s hard to be together when you are both running.

A year earlier, during another tight spell a counselor told us we just need to sit down and talk. This is when Gavin was 11 months and Maia not quite 3 years. All I wanted to say was “Lady, you clearly don’t have a clue what it’s like to have 2 little ones.” There is no time to talk.

We muster enough energy to reconnect even though the rain jackets could not be found and a third baby would definitely throw us over the edge. We both discredit how much of a glue it can be.

In the morning, still happy from the earlier release, I found my two year old already asleep with us and the four year old coming in for a snuggle. We put the kids between us, laid there and smiled. Gavin looked at his older sister, put his arm around her and said “Maia! We are together!” Right. This is why we do it. We do lover our family. And morning snuggles are the best. Never mind that we are late again. For now, we will just work on getting some more sleep, making it to the next morning, and keep on running.

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