The other day Chris and I got into an argument, which to be honestly, really is a rarity. We bicker here and there, but this was an actual fight. Tuesday nights I try to escape the house and go to a yoga class, and a few hours before I was ready to leave, we started going at it.
I prefer to talk when we are in disagreement. Chris just wants to seal his lips and close the door. So I screamed at him, forcing him to talk it out. My attempts at conversation didn’t really work–the more I yelled, the calmer he got (how he does this I will never understand). So I left the house. Not knowing where to go with a full hour to burn before yoga, I drove to the cemetery to see you.
I laid on your plot, by the lake and the willow trees and stared at the blue above. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky–and I mean not one. The moon was fading into appearance, only at five o’clock or so.
And then I cried. And cried. And put my bent arms behind my head so my palms were under my hair and curled my toes in the grass that you were beneath.
Being a mother is so hard. And being one without you felt impossible in that moment. I asked for your help. I asked where you were. I asked if you ever got to be with Everett before he came to me. Of course I never got answers, but asking the questions help sort through the confusion. If the uncertainty is organized in my head, it feels better.
Eventually I sat up and saw a mother mallard duck with her baby. She was sitting on a little island of grass, watching all around her while her baby was cleaning itself. In the background water the males were splashing and carrying on, not paying attention to anything and I could not help but laugh. Women, men—male mallards and female ducks: we are both the same. Mothers do the fine, tedious work.
Our fight was about our parenting differences. I don’t like how he doesn’t listen to me about the baby. He tries to do his own “techniques”, even though I am with Everett all day and know what works through arduous runs of trial and error. So when Chris acts like he knows best, I feel like my job is pointless.
But we are different. And we will parent different. And after I got back from yoga, we talked about what was on our minds and things are better. That was after I got out of the shower and started another screaming rant, butt ass naked. Uh, what is wrong with me?
This initiation into parenthood is hard on a marriage. I never really expected that and it hit me hard a few days in. Luckily I have a husband who can roll with the punches (and sometimes that’s kinda literal) and has the ability to remain patient and calm, even with a hormone whacked out wife and a screaming infant.
I love him. And if I didn’t have a strong man behind me right now, I would fall to pieces.