My husband has a small, close circle of friends who are dear to him. My husband is not an easy read and his fierce love of those who make it past his prickly exterior are in for life. I find male relationships fascinating; there is not talk of feelings, dissection of what conversations might mean, or endless discussions on how to ensure you do not raise serial killers, YET the relationships are rooted deep into the earth even without many words.
My husband has 2 friends from kindergarten who are his dearest friends 35 years later. They have their own language. It is loud, bawdy and complete gibberish but you cannot help but to smile when you hear the three of them together in “Nina”speak. These 3 friends are rarely in the same city together, but the bond of friendship is always there. Bits of business are intertwined. Somehow, anniversary vacations and honeymoon destinations overlap. One friend’s wife planned a romantic anniversary vacation near where we live. Her husband said to her, “Thank you for bringing me to see my best friend.” She was so tickled by the friendship, she did not bring up the fact that it was supposed to be THEIR time together. My husband tagged along the entire time of the trip, in the back seat of the rented convertible, both friends as happy as can be.
One component of the friendship has been the love of one another’s mother. All three mothers are vastly different, but each one brought something special into each boy’s heart. All three men grew up to love strong women, and to value that relationship above everything else. I am certain few who knew this band of miscreants in school would have expected or believed this to be a truth, but I believe their love of their mothers and who they were/are, led them to the family men they are today. As time marches on, losses start to become reality for these friends, and the beauty of the friendship shines brighter as the circle becomes tighter.
My husband is out of town. I had the house to myself after the tiny one went to bed. I thought perhaps the complete freedom might be liberating, but honestly, I’m bored without my partner. I miss him. I decided to take a bath and as I took my hair down, I thought about how hideous it currently looks and I made the ugliest face I could contortion. I am not sure why, but I sometimes choose to do this. I prefer it when I can perform this for my husband. I adore his responses. He is slightly horrified by what I can conjure, particularly if I am inspired by either old school Rachel from Glee or my perception of zombies. I thought about this during my free time tonight and I thought maybe I should be concerned that this would eventually be a major repulsion for my husband. I immediately dismissed the thought. “Come on, he’s crazy about you” was my inner response. Then I realized that this is a gift my parents gave me long ago. I have never felt unloved by them. I have never doubted the family bond of my parents, my brothers, and myself and it has allowed me to feel security in my grown up family. This is not to say that I have not been allowed to blow around in the wind on my own, because I have, and I am also grateful for this. My parents knew me and trusted the relationship enough to let me flounder and succeed or fail as needed before swooping in to save the day. I am so happy, after the fact, that they did. Here is what shaped me:
- My parents let me sing multiple verses of Santa Claus is coming to town to our congregation at church, in June, at age 3. (This led to me thinking teenage boys would like to hear me sing too, which was a very successful method of birth control. Sneaky parents.)
- My parents allowed me to audition for everything and drove me to said auditions. If I failed, they talked with me but let me know that failure is part of life.
- When I realized TCU’s music program was terrible for musical theater goals, they let me decide whether to stay or transfer. No judgment made. For the record, I made the wrong choice.
- When I asked when we were all moving me to New York City, my mother said I had it wrong and I should buy a one-way ticket and figure out where to stay. I thought she was evil. In hindsight, she was both brave and brilliant.
- When I could not figure out how to live in New York City, my parents did save the day and paid for my broker’s fee for the apartment. I paid the rent.
- My dad drove me out to California to go back to school. I paid for school; he paid for all the insurance needed on my 26-year-old self. I got a 4.0 and the outstanding student award for my major. I needed to pay for school myself in order to achieve that.
Catching your child on every stumble can lead to an insecure child/adult, I have decided. I am learning how hard it is not to sprint over when someone pulls the tiny one’s hair, or he falls 4 inches and bruises his forehead, but learning disappointment at a young age is ok. I would rather that he be disappointed about being in his crib and learn to figure it out, than have an adult who is constantly disappointed about everything, without seeing how to make it ok internally. I want to raise a boy who is so confident about having been so loved and believed in that he was allowed to fall a little bit, knowing he could pick himself up. All of this rambling comes from one ugly face in the mirror. Come home soon Patrick.