All my little nestlings are in for the night. Four children, 1.5 grandbabies. Thank You, Lord, they are safely corralled within my four walls tonight.
But HE is not home tonight
And while I miss him — his comforting presence, his authoritative role in the household — I find myself strangely relaxed for the most trivial reasons.
I can stay up as late as I want.
I can leave the dirty dishes in the sink. (I won’t, it bothers oldest child.)
I can watch Lifetime made-for-TV movies without fear of ridicule.
It’s not that HIMSELF is a tyrant. He could care less whether I make dinner, stay up late, do the dishes, or watch fluffy made-for-TV movies. He’s awesome that way. His expectations are minimal. My sense of responsibility toward him is self-induced, the product of our culture.
I’m not alone.
I can’t count the number of women I’ve talked to who breathe a sigh of relief when their husbands are away. Not because they don’t love their menfolk, but because it’s a kind of mini-vacation from the 24/7 responsibilities that come with the title of “wife.”
When HE is away, it means cereal or boxed mac & cheese for supper, it means the bed stays unmade, it means you don’t experience any subliminal pressure to shave your legs or pits.
For the ladies among us who are breakfast champions, creating full meals for their households before everyone trots off to work or school, having HIM away means you pour cold cereal into the bowl and call it good.
For those among us whose children are older, it means you don’t fret over the two extra hours you wasted hunting and gathering at Ross, or purveying the sales at Kohl’s. It means you finish reading that novel, instead of going to bed at a reasonable hour.
Sounds like freedom…. and yet, I’d rather have HIM here, with me.