Thursday, May 13, 2010

Don't forget your...

My husband has a lot on his plate. Not his real dinner "plate." His life "plate."

I mean don't we all?

I do a fair bit of reminding. If you call me a "nag" I will drop-kick your ass. Be warned.

But he forgets things. He has gotten to the check-out line of the grocery store (after filling the cart) and realized he has no wallet. He has taken both my car keys and his car keys when I needed to go somewhere with the three kids, leaving me stranded. (I borrowed a neighbor's car.) He packs and forgets his lunch regularly. He forgets his glasses and cell phone at least once a week and drives down the block then returns. My five-year-old daughter says, "Hi, Dada! What did you forget, Dada? Your glasses? Cell phone?"
I love him.

So here's me yesterday morning as he's heading out the door for work:

Do you have your lunch?
Do you have your briefcase?
Do you have your wallet?
Do you have your keys?
Do you have your German homework?
Do you have your cell phone?

Seven-year-old S was nearby, eating his breakfast. He's funny. Here he is at a Revolutionary War Fort.
So, as I am questioning my husband, S jumps in, "Do you have your Barack Obama mask?"
And I just started cracking up. And then S starts laughing.
My husband kind of looked sideways at S.
Then S said, "Dada, don't forget your Abraham Lincoln hat."
And we laughed. 
Then S said. "Don't forget your bazooka."
Then S and I started just adding goofy things. And laughing.
Don't forget your banjo. 
Don't forget your snorkel.
Don't forget your coconut bra. 
Don't forget your sting ray.
Don't forget your car.
Don't forget your watermelon.
Don't forget your machete. 
Don't forget your drum kit.
Quill pen.
Pole vault.
Pommel horse.
Beef jerky/ turkey jerky.
Flattened cardboard for break dancing...

By this time my husband had long ago left for work. S and I were still laughing and adding things and laughing. 

It was a late night for my husband. After work he had German tutoring and then a different German speaking group. I call it "Double German Night." My husband gets home after the kids are in bed. So I get the kids off the bus, help them do homework, make dinner, do baths and showers, books, snuggling, etc. Earlier, as the kids and I were walking the dog through the woods, we were laughing about the funny list of things for Dada to take to work. And we started adding more silly things, and laughing more. (You can only imagine the list.) And I thought how sad it is that my husband is missing out on these great moments. These funny kids. This is life. Happening right now. It's passing by as he spends hours, days, weeks, a year (will it be years?) trying to get this job. It's a job! And is it a job that will mess up our lives? Will it leave us with a dad who works 15 hour days, living in housing with too few beds, with bugs, with isolation, with no woods in which to play? But at least if he gets the job we will have prepared the list of things he should take in his briefcase for the first day of work. I'd like to see the faces on the security guards at FSI for that one. Really, dude, a coconut bra?!


Bfiles said...

love your new blog look!
I know what you mean, though.
It hits me when we play outside in our pretty, safe backyard on a beautiful spring day (during the winter, not so much). Are we giving it up for bugs and poverty and unbearable weather and longing for home?

And my husband's hours already totally suck. Are we going to have two parents (eventually?) with sucky hours?

But I still think the pluses outweigh all the panic moments and the downsides. And I'm pretty sure you do too. But anyway, I hear you!

Shannon said...

I did not come gracefully to the FS, my husband followed up years of night school with 3 months of training away from us (I stayed behind so the kids could finish the school year) then a move to Jakarta, not my dream post, at not initially. Those first months were incredibly rough. I can say now with the wisdom of hindsight that the FS has been a God send to our family and I am so thankful that we have this opportunity for us and our kids. After all how many 18 year olds can say that they learned to sail on the Sunda Straights, gone white water rafting in Sumatra and hiked the Santiago de Compestella through France and Spain all before they turned 17? I am a little jealous of my own kids.

Bryn said...

One great thing about the FS is that the hours are normally consistant. You get there around 8 and you leave around 5. Sometimes they might have to stay later because someone important is in town or there's a meeting at a restaurant they have to go to, but that has only happened to us twice so far.

And I love how creative your kids are. What a great sense of humor also!!!

Jen said...

The hours can be up and down (much longer for us stateside), but the lifestyle can't be beat. All of the opportunities we have, trust me, it's worth it!

TulipGirl said...

Our transition, while so far pretty smooth, has had a few rough patches. . . Like the day this week one of my sons told me, "Dad was the FUN stay at home parent."


Yeah, well. . . he was. But now he's at work for longer hours and the boys miss him and they just have "bossy" me.

We're all adjusting.

Connie said...

I LOVE your list of don't forgets! Your hubby should be glad you were just reminding him, not doing his packing! I used to find 'interesting' things in my bag when I got to work all the time :) No bazookas or roller skates though.