One year later, I’m finishing a book. I’ve watched many Netflix episodes. I have had no time for reading. But to be honest, I haven’t really. Every book I’ve read has been for a much younger reader. And I’m usually doing voices. But people… If you haven’t read The Red Tent by Anita Diamant, DO IT. Men and women. It was actually my brother in laws brother in law who told me about it years ago. And since a cute man told me I needed to read a book the title stuck in my mind. When a friend gave it to me to borrow a year ago, I was thrilled. I had no idea having a baby then toddler would push me off the edge of society and make me illiterate. I feel accomplished and wonderful. Also, the last half, couldn’t put it down y’all.
The sensitive, wonderful, traumatic, loving and “what the hell is going on?” time when your partner works as a Mariner.
A post of this subject could go on and on, it could have a few different tones, and it could possibly cause distress in my marriage if I’m not careful. But we are 4 days into him getting home after 3 months, I’m sitting here with my coffee, exhausted by the night, watching my toddler re discover all his toys for the day and bring me books to read him, and my husband is treating our home like his ship.
(I will bring light humor to this subject today, as even though it’s hard, a bit frustrating, and takes a couple weeks to adjust, it’s who we are and we have been doing it for 10 years).
The vaccume is going, not just half ass, the extension tube is out and if it could scrub our already pretty clean floor, that’s what it’s doing right now. Laundry piles are being made right in front of me, washer and dryer are now running, the piles staring at me as to say “good early morning to you friend, your day is already drawn out for you”
My husband is a big music person.Not to say I don’t like music, but he listens to music continueously and if he’s not listening to music he’s watching a video or playing a game with music. I like moments of silence and waking up in the world at a somewhat of a peaceful pace.
That being said yes, during all this he music is going. Upbeat energetic get you moving music. He’s dusting (guess I missed a spot), dishes are being scrubbed with a vengeance, toys are being picked up(again), then all of the sudden he stops. He sits down with coffee and his iPad and will be here until 1pm until he decides he needs to get up and run around again. “Where is this? What happened to that? Why is the cheese grater in this cabinet? Do we have any sponges? Why don’t we have windex? Why don’t we have any snacks?” Guess I’ll go to the store and reorganize everything today. And get to the piles of course.
It’s not that I’m not greatful for him helping. I know a lot of women would say their partners don’t even touch the vaccume. But right when you wake up? The adjustment from ship to home time is entertaining to say the least. This will go on for a couple weeks and then change.
Now for sex.
You would think after 3 months of being away there would be no issue. But as a woman taking care of a 16 month old alone day in and day out (thank god for family) and being the communicator that I am and also need… I don’t get that support and acknowledgement for 3 months and then all the sudden it’s hitting me with a globe and knocking me into another world overnight. I feel like yes, I can have sex right away of course. But then after that I need to be dated again. Who are we? People change in 3 months but sometimes after you have been together with someone for so long it seems the expectation is that you never change. Sex is just sex until the time is taken to be made into love again. I wish I knew other people in this situation so we could laugh about it together.
It’s now 930am. It’s late. I will drink another cup of coffee but will contemplate cheesecake and scotch.
I recently flew out to the Northwest from Baltimore with my 6 month old alone. That was interesting. Crazy is what it was, no wonder people give up and stay home. That being said I would rather go crazy traveling then go crazy sitting at home.
Flying, you know the drill, check in through your phone, use your phone to navigate to the airport, check the time on your phone, update your status about going somewhere with a picture of yourself and your suitcase and feet together, get through security, check the time again, grab a coffee or sit at a bar scrolling through your phone not paying attention to anyone around you, but if you did they would all be doing the same thing.
Oh wait there is more- stand in line to board the plane with phone in hand looking at it every 5 seconds trying to find something to do until you get on the plane and up in the air until the flight attendants say you can use your electronics again. And at that point you plug into your music, movie, or work like you aren’t going to waste any time flying-you are going to stay connected…or as some people call it “plugged in”.
Well I had full intention of doing just that if my child magically fell asleep and I somehow managed to pull my computer out of my giant carry on with one hand. Thankfully I didn’t have to. While everyone was avoiding sitting next to me in fear my child was going to scream the whole time, I worried about the last person who got on the (stuffed to the gills) plane who would have to sit by us. I was pleasantly surprised when a man sat next to us and said “Ill sit next to the baby, I have 2 kids and I’m not scared!” Thank god.
Right away he started talking. The conversation started off about recent unfortunate events in Baltimore. It got deep (for a stranger on a plane conversation) going into the topic of racism, violence, equal opportunity, and rights. He had dark skin and was from New York. He grew up in the projects and once he had kids he took a second and third job and moved to Florida. He didn’t want his kids to grow up in the city and projects like he did. We talked about marriage, how it was hard work and after kids how it gets rough and you start to forget about each other and ways you can bring it back. We shared a few secrets that we both had not told anyone. I told him he was a stranger so what the hell. This went on, constant conversation for 5 hours. I felt rejuvenated. I can honestly say I haven’t talked like that in years. Of course I have had conversations, meaningful ones at that, but not like this. It was raw and honest. It was a fully present, no distractions, no worry about somewhere else to be or what time it was or even what other people thought about us. We were talking on a quiet, packed plane with everyone around us on their devices with headphones in. Im sure people heard us but when we were talking those people faded away and I didn’t even notice them.
When we landed he told me thank you for talking to him. He apologized and said he hoped he didn’t talk to much or share too much of his life story. I felt nothing but gratitude towards him for choosing to sit next to me and engage in real conversation. I told him I missed that about airplanes and how I use to do that often until the iPhone came out. I thanked him.
I started to remember all the people I have met on planes and other public transportation. Wonderful, strange,boring, funny, drunk, smart, ambitious, giving.. are all words to describe different people I specifically remember. It has been way too long since I have really engaged with any of these people and to think that they are always all around me makes me sad.
From now on, I will engage. I will open myself up and create the opportunity to talk to people and get to know them as they are in that moment in time we are together.
Thank you man on the plane from NY who now lives in Fort Lauderdale, FL. I appreciate you.
Holy shit my baby is 6 months tomorrow! I seriously had this vision when he was just weeks old, nursing him continously on the couch watching Netflix and having my husband cook for me, that I needed to start teaching him things or I was going to look down one day and he would be a year old. Well he is halfway there and my God he has taught himself stuff. Not only that he has taught ME stuff.
I decided that it was time for me to start reading…because well Netflix has run out of shows to watch and I feel like I’m just molding myself into this parenting thing day by day and am afraid I will become everything I said I wouldn’t. I already have bought him colorful plastic things to play with. Rule #1, broken. So, reading… I went to the book store and stood in front of the “Parenting” section sipping my coffee and looking hip while my babe slept. So many choices. I became nauseous. Whatever happened to the good old fashion ways of raising a child? There is a fucking name for EVERYTHING! I finally found a book that seemed easy sounding enough. “Baby Knows Best” by Deborah Carlisle Solomon. Thank God someone has finally caught my attention. Let your baby tell you where when and what in a calm and confident way? Yes please. Don’t have to be home every night by 6 because your baby has to sleep? Yes please. Not to mention forcing your child to do things because you think you are the more intelligent one. Let me tell you we are all stupid. Watch “Baby Geniuses” you will understand.
Let me explain my theory. When Noah was 4 months old he had already traveled 16,000 miles. He had a passport. He flew across country at 2 weeks old and went to Ireland and Rome. He did long car trips, met people, and saw the world literally the way it should be seen. Experienced. He slept when he wanted, ate all the fucking time (I nursed him while hiking, shopping, walking around Rome, I even pumped milk like a human cow while driving down the interstate. We will not be stopped. He will know all kinds of different people and experience places and things until we set him free when he is 18- or whenever he decides to set himself free. So long story short I found a book that basically goes along with everything I have been doing. Perfect. I don’t have to change. Sleep schedule? Fuck that. Sleep when you want wherever we are, whatever we are doing. It works people! I am now declaring that I am letting my baby be a human being and tell me what he needs and allowing myself to guide him the the right direction. If it doesn’t work? Hell, its my first kid. The first one is always the trial run. I was!
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