Sunday, October 16, 2011

The New Cavernous Ravine

The trees are turning on their vacant signs. Things are falling to the ground all around me. My children's teeth included. We're talking in lisps here so we can understand each other- that or the boys sign to me. A quick decisive cutting with the fingers to imply that they would like me to cut their apples up because they can't bite into them. It's all new. Last year they were doing this at soccer:

This year:

We're making great strides.

In completely other news I am now her:

It's been hard for me to get my head around this new title. I've never transitioned into the nanny role for a doula family before. I think I like it but mostly I'm just missing being home. Missing being with Bee. Missing being with me. But mostly, mostly missing being with Paul.

Because when you peel back the banana peel it looks a little something like this:

Monday I'm there and Monday he's here and Monday night he's going to go there starting tomorrow and Tuesdays I'm there and he's sometimes here but every other Tuesday he's here. Wednesday I'm there and he's here but Wednesday night I go here. Thursdays I'm there and then he goes here. Fridays I go here in the morning and he's here except every other Friday when he's here. He's here every other Saturday and Sunday too, but I'm here every other Sunday night when he's here.

So it's every other Tuesday evening, every other Friday afternoon , and every other Saturday and Sunday we get to look at each other. That's it. And when you break it down like that it seems less than it already seems. Like a cookie split into quarters when one cookie wasn't nearly enough to begin with. And that cookie was a perfectly warm ooey gooey chocolate chip, right out of the oven. Definitely not something you want to nibble.

And our relationship has become a dialogue in notes scribbled on scrap paper left on the counter. "Going here then, picking this up there, don't forget to get that there." I mumble something when he rolls into bed at 2 about please checking on chickens. I knew I would forget to write it on paper in the scramble we call getting everyone out the door in the morning.

And at lunch dates every other Friday, between bites and reconfiguring orthodontic appointments and hip hop classes, we talk about how we might work together in the woods someday, or breed hairy pigs, or possibly grow potatoes to distill into vodka. How can we see each other's faces more than a handful of hours every week? How can we be more than notes scribbled on paper? More than "I miss you" at 2 a.m.?

Not too many couples can work together day to day. And I'm not sure we could. But I know this. I know that when he goes that way and I go this way the ravine in the middle seems really cavernous. And I also know that it's only when we work side by side that I feel like there is no ravine. And that even if perchance it feels like there is one, it's really easy to cross because Paul Bunyan has built this really cool zip-line from one side to the other.

I miss you Paul.

I know we'll meet again,


  1. I can relate. I think most people I know can relate. Beautifully written.

  2. I think about this for the future, when I'm in nursing school and beyond. What will my shifts be like? How will we fare? I know it needs to be done, but I fear that ravine you speak of. We're best friends, and I think I can bear only a small gulf between us.

    I'm hoping your zip cord makes it all a bit easier for you both.