Monday, January 19, 2009

Lionel the Goldfish

As I was driving home from a short but much needed solo date, I gave in against better judgement to call home and see how things were fairing. I was pretty sure I knew how the dialogue would go. Just checking in really on moods and expectations, so I could better assess how to handle the rest of the evening.

Before I go any further, I would like to paint a clearer picture of myself. Being half Irish and half Palestinian, it was only natural that I would end up with a very optimistic, easy going, there's nothing we can't work out, KIND, generous, family man. Not to say that I have none of those same qualities, but he does balance me out!!! I wear the pants and he wears the smile!! We often joke about superpowers and he always says mine would be organizing. How boring. How true! But, it does come in handy with two VERY spirited, active, demanding little boy bundles of joy. Did I mention how protective I am? With the IRA and PLO possibly floating around in my bloodlines, it really seems pretty natural. I know I don't need to explain the maternal instinct to all of you... but my husband and parents don't seem to understand how strong that can be so I often have to remind them.

Back to the story....
I head home trying desperately to make it back before the boys go crazy from the weekend hiccup in their usual agenda and meal times so I can keep this shopping high going for the rest of the evening! That all came crashing down as I hear that my parents took Jake out for a drive. Mr. Easy Going proceeds to tell me he doesn't know where they went, how long they would be, what events might take place. He knows nothing and doesn't really seem to care. All he knows is that he was able to get some work done with our rambunctious two year old gone.

Now that may seem pretty normal to most people. But, my reaction was of utter distress! I got a giant lump in my gut, I broke out in hives, and found myself calling every girlfriend I could to validate my feelings! How could he be so okay with this? We haven't really given the big heave-ho to let people drive our kids around yet. Not to mention in the dark, at dinner time, and without any real destination in mind! This is something I thought we could build up to... maybe a trip out for lunch or to the park with Grandma. Now the guilt of feeling the way I do is overwhelming. I mean they are my parents. Yet, it seems I am not ready to hand over the reigns, the responsibility, the opportunity for any horrible disaster to take place with my boys! I can just see it now a new Lifetime movie...."The Accident that tore apart my Family" starring some backup actress from The Starter Wife.

After crying about these crazy feelings I wasn't prepared to explore, yelling at my husband for making such huge decisions on our behalf, texting my girlfriends for a sanity check, slamming a glass of port, and considering some tequila, I calmed myself down enough to embrace my son upon his return. I had no idea what I would say to my parents. Shortly after my second pour of port they arrived and in came Jake. He bounced in like a Kangaroo beaming with excitement and then I saw it. This beautiful orange goldfish stuffed in a plastic baggy looked more terrified than I did. It was like a mascot for my feelings reminding me with each gulp of air that nothing in life is predictable! Especially, since my mom said she got the fish to help motivate potty training. What? We are potty training now? I didn't remember having that dialogue!

As I look this new member of our family in the eye we make the mommy-new pet bond.... " I won't let you die. You keep him happy!" With that, I let go of all those separation anxiety feelings I was having and decided to save them for the next outing. I have too much more to worry about now! I guess we are starting potty training tomorrow. Not to mention dialogue about death should anything happen to this goldfish! Wow.... who knew a car ride could bring on so much!!!

Thank God for kids! In the midst of all the chaos, trust conversations, and obvious tension Jake had everyone in stitches over what to name this new pet of ours. "Should it be Charlie?" "Ummmm... No". "How about Mary?" " Umm... Nope". This went on for quite awhile. Then finally Jake decided on a name that suited his fish. "How about Lionel?" "Ummm.... Yeah. I like it. Lionel!" And with that he ran over to the fish swimming in the juice pitcher and said "Hi Lionel! I love you Lionel!" And that was pretty much deal done! Tomorrow we will worry about fish bowls and training pants. For now we will enjoy one of the rare beautiful moments of childhood bliss.

Welcome Home Lionel! Welcome Home!

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