Thursday, February 3, 2011

family: ... one and one ...

... and 9 is 11!.

I'm lucky. Lucky with my family and friends. Lucky with the girls. And especially lucky that I managed somehow to end up with M.

An example: twice each week, M cuts me loose to go paddling while she deals with dinner, baths and bedtime for the girls. It's not easy to do that, but she knows that paddling is my workout, so getting the time in means a lot to me. It's also mentally important in that being out on the water nearly always helps my mood, whatever the mood I began with.

In return, I cover for her two mornings a week so she can get up at 5.15a and go to an insane spinning class at the gym, a class after which I'd likely lay down and die. But she doesn't. She comes home looking buff and awesome in a sweaty, just having nearly puked sort of way. And by "cover for her" I mostly mean I continue to lay in bed, often with L who wakes up early. And if both girls are up before M gets home, I do my best to manage breakfast.

This morning, while I was herding K around the kitchen, trying to nudge her toward breakfast without being too obvious or too forceful because I've learned she's something like a wild (arabian?) horse in that if she realizes I want her to do something, she'll naturally want to do if not the opposite at least something not quite what I want, she wanted to know one more time "Where's Mama?"

It occurred to me that this was a perfect "teachable" moment! I could explain how when two people love each other very much, they sometimes end up with kids... make an effort to give each other time and space to do things that are important to them. I was going to explain how this is what a relationship is supposed to be. I can imagine that you can imagine how it went....

me: She's spinning, getting exercise.
K: Why does she have to do that?
me: Because it keeps her healthy. And feeling good. And looking great!
K: But... well, what am I going to have for breakfast?
me: How about cereal?
K: O.K.
me: You know, that's what people who care about each other do. They make it possible for each other to have some time to do things they want to do.
K: What?
me (can't really blame her, that wasn't very clear even to me!): You remember I was paddling last night?
K: Yeah. I thought you would stay home and tell a Belle story.
me: I'll tell a story tonight. Well, your mama made is possible for me to go paddling last night.
K: Why?
me: Because I wanted to. It makes me feel good. And now we're making it possible for her to go spinning in the morning. It's what we do for each other.
K: Daddy?
me: Yeah?
K: You remember the two part Saddle Club, the parts where... where... well, there's Diavlo and Lisa's father is going to buy him for her and then... well, do you remember that one?
me: It's got the gypsy in it?
K: Raffiel. That's his name.
me: Right, Raffiel.
K: Well, Lisa's father buys Diavlo for her.
me: Diablo? Raffiel's horse?
K: Yeah.
me: Yeah...?
K: Have you seen both those?
me: I don't think so, not the second part.
K: Oh.
me (what happened to my teachable moment?): What are you going to eat for breakfast?

(slightly later, K is sitting with a bowl of Strawberry Os)

me: You know what today is?
K: What?
me: It's the anniversary of the first time your mom and I went on a date.
K: What's "went on a date?"
me: That means we went out together, so see how we liked being with each other. It's... the first step to getting married.
K: You went out to find out if you were going to get married?
me: Uh... no, we weren't thinking about that right away. We just wanted to see what it would be like to be with each other.
K: Daddy?
me: Yeah K?
K: Can I have some more Os?
me: Sure.

Happy 11th Feb 3, M!

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