(Who couldn’t love a man who lets his son color in his tattoos with markers??)
|I write on and on and on about my love affair with my son, Roan. It is so easy to do, because there’s nothing about my relationship with him that scares me. Well, except for the fact that some day he may move on and have his own life but he’s already promised that he won’t do that until I die so I guess we’re cool. I write about Anson sort of in a peripheral way, and often make him the punch line of some of these stories, and that isn’t an untrue reflection of our real life. Luckily he is quick to laugh, especially at himself so it is generally a pretty harmonious life.|
Recently though, life has gotten a little bit more difficult. Not just for us, for almost everyone we know. Jobs are on the line, or have been victims of a firing line, money is tight, friends are moving away and all this anxiety reaches its hands into our relationships. All this anxiety reaches its hands into my relationship. Anson and I never have argued about money – we have pretty much the same ideas about what we need and what we want. So imagine my surprise when our harmonious home has been interrupted by this crap economy.
Before I go on, I feel like I need to defend our happiness and say, “Hey even though I’m writing about how things are tough right now, we love each other, world!” Why is that? I guess because it scares me to write about a relationship that means everything to me, and to say that I’ve found out that it is vulnerable. But I also feel like it is disingenuous to ignore it because is the thing that is on my mind the most. And I wonder: if this is happening to us, is it happening in a lot of other homes?
So I guess I’d have to identify what “This” is. “This” is Anson having trouble sleeping and being pretty grumpy as a result. “This” is Anson being frustrated with his anxiety and resulting unhappiness. “This” is me being mad at him because he’s not happy. “This” is Roan anticipating our arguments and trying to head them off at the pass with anything in his arsenal, including using his new catch phrase, “Hey hey hey just slow down a minute”. “This” is my guilt at seeing Roan recognize that Anson and I aren’t always in step with each other.
I think mostly, “This” is life when it gets hard. Certainly we’re not alone in it, but it freaks me out. My experience with my own parent’s divorce has made me look for problems and cracks and fissures when maybe they aren’t even there. Their divorce (either fortunately or unfortunately depending on how you look at it) turned me into a person that needs to be understood and wants to understand everything in the relationship backward, frontward, sideways, diagonal and upside-down. I’m probably a pretty exhausting person to live with and promise to live with forever. But Anson promised exactly that and has reminded me recently that regardless of how hard things are, he’s in it. Forever. (Anyone else hear Prince saying “and that’s a mighty long time….”?)
I guess the real thing that “This” ends up being is learning how to stand next to each other when things seem like they’re falling apart all around you. And then in the future when we’re about to drop dead, looking back and being able to say it wasn’t so bad. We were happy more often than we were unhappy; we had more good times than bad. Remembering to hey hey hey slow down a minute and clasp hands and stay in step. So that’s where I’m coming from today – saying to Anson: though you are a tad bit fussier than normal, I’m in it too, forever. And that’s a mighty long time baby.