Alone at Home During the Storm: A Lesson in My Marriage

October 5, 2016

I’ve been alone at home with Matthew – the hurricane that is – and school has been cancelled in the Dominican Republic for four days. Normally, it would be a welcome break. Normally, Husband would be home. But on Sunday, hours before we received notice of the first school cancelling, Husband boarded a plane for Mexico. Calm down, it sounds much more scandalous than it really is. He’s in Mexico on a work trip, a conference that happens yearly and that he is presenting at this year. It was lousy timing. Husband leaves for Mexico (and tacos) and I stay alone at home with two kids and two dogs during hurricane watch.

I told myself I just had to get through Sunday. Once Monday rolled around, I would go back to work and Shelly, our nanny, would be here to help. But the news of Hurricane Matthew cancelling school on Monday arrived by the afternoon. Patience. I reminded myself. Get through Monday and Tuesday will be bet… What? School is cancelled on Tuesday too?! And then came Wednesday, today. For three days, school has been cancelled which means I’ve told Shelly to stay home which means I’ve been a single parent of 4 kids (two fluffy, two not) for 4 days.

alone at home during Hurricane Matthew

It’s been an interesting tango of pockets of time. When the kids wake up, there is no one’s chest I could slap in nudgement of waking up with them. The kids stand by my bed, right at my face, and talk in an ungodly volume. Mami. Maaaaaami. I’m awake. Like, seriously dude, I know. You’re standing 3 centimeters away from me which technically makes you a close talker. I pour cereal into a bowl and have enough time to run downstairs – between downpours – to quickly walk the dogs. Jersey is blind so I carry him. Olive hates grass and, more so, rainy grass. So she takes an hour to decide that she’s even going to pee. When I get back upstairs, someone wants to play Legos. I play Legos and build solid skyscrapers while my breakfast sandwich warms up in the toaster over. I make coffee, which I realize I have to move to a different outlet that has power because the generator doesn’t back up all of the outlets and we’ve lost power. I sit down for breakfast and little legs charge at me.

Them: I want to try that. 

Me: Dude, this is a ham and cheese sandwich. You know exactly what this tastes like.

They stare through me, uninterested. It was a good try but my reasoning doesn’t stop them from wanting to “try” my sandwich. And eventually con me out of the last bite. This is all before 11am.

I’ve figured out how to get them to gorgeously play with one another and act like they actually love one another. And they do this while I put in laundry, do the dishes, make my bed, and take the dogs out again quickly because there’s a break in the rain and remember Olive is a prissy dog that doesn’t like grass, rain, or wet grass. When I get back upstairs, I remember that I had coffee made. I drink my cold coffee. The kids are actually still playing together, so I sit with my cold coffee before it starts to rain again and I get up to close all of the windows. While I’m up, I might as well get the laundry out of the washer and hang it to dry and put away the dishes.I feel like the mouse from “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie.” I smell smoke and look outside to see a transformer box on the street smoking. This is all before 2pm.

Only 5 more hours until wine time, I mean, bed time. 

The truth is, even though I make wine jokes, these hurricane days haven’t actually been that bad and I’ve – dare I say – rather enjoyed them. Similar to how being a waitress humbles you, this has been a good look into my mom-ness and what my life would be like without Husband. Being alone at home has taught me that I can do this by myself. I can take care of all the things (mostly). I don’t need Husband. I am a strong mom and I’ve got this. But far greater, being alone at home through this taught me that I absolutely don’t want to do it alone.

I miss my husband.

And I don’t miss him because these days of being “on” at all times would have been way easier with him here (though it definitely doesn’t hurt his case). I miss him because “unity.” It’s a joke we make when we don’t want to leave the other person to do something annoying by themselves. I miss him because – as someone said to us recently, “How in the world do you two have so God d*mn much to talk about when you’re together all day.” – we like each other.

He often tells me that I’m the glue here, that I make this “thing” stick. That’s not true. He’s the glue. I’m the glitter. Neither better than the other. Neither more important. Glitter is fun. Okay… a lot of fun – sparkly and shiny and full of festivity but without glue, glitter is just superficial – a flaky, shiny particle with nothing to anchor it. It would flitter away in the wind alone. And glue, without glitter? It would work, I guess, in practical terms. Glue would do it’s job. It would stay put in one spot. But it would lead a pretty dry life and it would certainly never sparkle. The two need each other for no other reason than because they work better when they’re together.

Here’s to you, glue.

Love, Glitter.

Glitter and Glue

Take another shot: This simple idea for a happy marriage and being with the right person?

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