Sunday, February 21, 2010

Yin and Yang

I really like Steve.

This is a good thing, as our families have long lifespans and we married young. So there would be a lot of long miserable years ahead of us, if things weren't going as planned. Thankfully, I think he's handsome and funny and brilliant. And a damn good daddy.

And today I've been thinking about how strange marriage is, in that you have to match in certain areas (religion, politics, geographical preference, etc) and then be opposites in others.

Seems like a complicated algorithm. It's a wonder things ever work out.

Steve was super crabby today. And I, on the other hand, was a little ray of cherubic sunshine. I can say that because it's not always the case. Sometimes I'm a crabby-muffin and he's a ray of sunshine. Not today.

But you know...it's okay. It's nice to trade off being really unlikable.

And him being so unlikable today? Made me realize how much I appreciate that this is his aberration, not his norm.

I was thinking about how marriage tends to find its balance when possible. People move to extremes to balance the other one out. I might have sub-consciously realized I couldn't be a crabby-muffin today because he needed a turn. So I balanced him out by being especially adorable.

In the midst of his crabbiness, however, he was still my favorite person ever. I liked that. A lot.

Earlier today, I came to him while he was aggressively attacking his ground beef in the skillet...his wooden spoon stabbing at the meat like it had threatened one of his children. I said: "I need some reassurance on something. Can we chat?" And proceeded to tell him that I was feeling like I was doing things terribly wrong with our children's paths and needed to be more structured, more strategic, more *something.*

I was supposed to be reading them classic literature or something else vaguely defined (mothering anxieties are seldom specific, I've found), but instead we fingerpaint and make telescopes out of toilet paper rolls. Yeah, we took Jack to Russian camp, but we never do anything even closely related to formal learning around here. I was feeling a bit too flighty and lax in my vision of parenting or something. I wasn't quite sure.

And since he's brilliant and insightful and wise even when irritable, he managed to sum up our parenting intentions in a few short sentences.

"Our only goal is to help them love learning. Period. That's it. If you push all the other stuff on them, you lose them at 5 or 6 or 8 or whatever. That's great if they read the classics, but they'll never read anything as an adult if you kill that love. They'll quit before they get to Emerson. You're doing great. Jack is skipping when he comes out of his classes and loves what he's doing. Keep doing what you're doing."

And went back to stabbing his meat.

He was crabby, I was cherubic. I was feeling vaguely insecure and he was the calm center.

Balance. I like that. I need that.

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