177 Days to Go
Sadly, the inevitable has happened. My husband left me today. Yes, I knew it was coming and tried to prepare myself, but it just isn’t possible to be totally “ready”. No, he didn’t leave me for a younger, leggier blonde. Or even a brunette. He didn’t leave me for a wild boys’ outing to Vegas, to “find himself”, or for a mid-life-crisis-grow-out-your-hair-take-a-cross-country-adventure-on-a-Harley. He left me (sigh) for The Land of the Gainfully Employed.
Back in early March, when he was clearing out his office, welcoming his replacement and making plans for his reconstructive surgery in Seattle, the three months of convalescent leave seemed to stretch out before us, boundless and never-ending. He had visions of reclining on the sofa, watching endless games of college baseball on tv, and fishing to his heart’s content. *I* had dreams of honey-do lists and derived great satisfaction checking off those items in my mind. Repaint kids’ bedrooms …. Check. Power wash mold off outside of house …. Check! Fix leaky spot in roof ….CHECK!!! Ah, the power of the dream.
Instead, thanks to an unexpected staph infection, two additional surgeries, and six weeks of heavy-duty IV antibiotics that left Blaine feeling as though he was in his first trimester of pregnancy, he spent a good portion of his leave … yes, laying on the sofa, but not reclined with the remote in one hand and a bowl of Doritos in the other. Rather, he was fatigued, nauseous, chilled and hurting. He lost fifteen pounds and became an expert at showering with a plastic bread bag covering his IV line to keep it dry. Not even the three extra weeks of convalescent leave his doctors ordered did much to fulfill his fantasy of fishing the local lake dry.
I never saw a person so glad to be done with antibiotics. When home health couldn’t get the picc-line out of his arm last week at the house, he pulled it out himself rather than wait until he could get to a doctor … that’s how eager he was to be finished. Sadly, he didn’t even get to enjoy the last few days, as he had his right eardrum perforated on Friday (with nothing more than ear drops to numb the pain) to help with his hearing, which has been clogged since the surgery last March.
“This might hurt a bit” the doctor said.
“That was the understatement of the century” Blaine replied.
I’m not sure why he so gaily hurried to his truck this morning on his way back to work, skipping like a small girl in a daisy field. Perhaps because his convalescent leave really wasn’t that “convalescensable” …. especially once the kids got out of school for the year and we were all trapped inside together for the two weeks of rain. Perhaps he actually missed working. Perhaps he was tired of days like yesterday; Fathers Day; where he spent his afternoon doing three loads of laundry so I could take a nap. (Hey, in my defense, I laid down with Kendrie who is still coughing her head off and chaffed raw from the non-stop diarrhea …. Is it *my* fault that I went to sleep and she didn’t???)
All I know is that now *I* am stuck at home with three kids by myself. I no longer get to sleep late because Blaine gets up with the kids. I no longer get to play on the computer as much as I want, or ask Blaine to “pick something up for me while you’re out”. Now I have to find ways to entertain these three, and worst of all, I’ll have to take them WITH ME when I run my errands. To be pestered, non-stop, all day long, fixing snacks and juice and trying to referee endless arguments, with never a quiet moment for myself. Truly, the injustice. Is that what I signed up for when I asked to be a Stay-At-Home-Mom??? Well, um, yes. I guess it is. Lucky me.
But I have to admit it’s been more fun being a Stay-At-Home-Mom while I’ve had a Stay-At-Home-Dad here with me. Even one that laid on the sofa a lot, complaining about how crappy he felt. I’m sure the kids and I will be back in our groove in just a few days, sans dad from eight to five (or seven to six, or whatever) but it sure would be nice to win the lottery and have him home with us all the time. I would just hope that next time, he feels better. And can get that Honey-Do list taken care of.
Happy Belated Fathers Day, Blaine. Thanks again for finishing up the laundry.
I love you,