As we waited for our table, last night, my three daughters sat quietly on the floor of a restaurant hallway , absorbing the 9 years that separate them. The eldest read short stories from a book she borrowed from her teacher, while the nine year old sat transfixed by her words and the 19 month old squeezed her cheeks in between them, thrilled just to be included.
My husband and I beamed at the Norman Rockwell painting at our feet; how lovely, how well behaved and quiet. We gave each other invisible hi-fives at our manifesting parental astuteness; even though, secretly, we knew we had little or nothing to do with how wonderful our children were conducting themselves, just as we have little or nothing to do with The Crazy they display at other times, (or so we like to think.)
Eventually, the allure of the cool, older girls faded and The Babe began to toddle around. She flirted with other children and babbled at adults what, I am almost certain is an unknown dialect of Farsi.
My husband and I were
staring off into space discussing the news of the day, when over my shoulder, I heard a soft voice with a lovely British accent. “He’s certainly a fit boy.” I turned to see a thin man with brilliant white hair and a kind face with a smile that comfortably fits the definition of jolly, gesturing toward The Babe.
In his defense, The Babe’s dark pink sweater could have passed as red in the dim lighting and the generous hem on her chocolate brown pants almost completely covered the pink lady bugs on her shoes.
I was so enchanted by the gentleman’s beguiling tone and his royal blue track suit, like I was standing before a character on loan from a Charles Dickens novel that I didn’t immediately want to correct him. So, I mumbled something about how nice it was that she wasn’t wandering off.
He gestured urbanely toward the three girls and said to my husband, “All of this is your family? You’re a good Producer.” My husband laughed and thanked him, and the freshly shaven Father Time turned on the spot and disappeared into the crowd.
My husband, The Producer.
The fact that I put my organs on loan for 9 months, 3 separate times; that I grew their bodies within my own, relegating me to guest status within my own skin; that I craved and ate combinations of foods that should never even share space on a plate; that my body parts swelled and morphed into unrecognizable shapes; and that I pushed 6, 7, and 8 pound people from my womb when my skin and hips could stretch no further…clearly, these trivial things earn me no title.
I’m okay with that. The many hats of Mother are plenty. But the whiskerless Father Christmas at The Tavern, last night solved a conundrum for me: What to call my husband on this blog. I am not allowed to discuss him too much. But he is a big important part of my life, and occasionally, he sneaks his way into my anecdotes, and I am certain that he will be playing a larger role in upcoming Counting Mercies.
So, meet my husband
Next week's Counting Mercies is Alphabet Soup-26 alphabetical things in your life that you are grateful for...or, if you are very clever, perhaps just a few things that use several words beginning with consecutive letters as adjectives. Bonus points for creativity!