I have my first full week of school behind me. I am more convinced than ever I'm in the right place. There are just too many signs to ignore. I've heard, "You only go through once, so do what you love and love what you do." Heard it all my life, well except for when I was trying to decide on a major in college, which ironically is when you really should have that counsel, isn't it.
Attempting to let go of lifelong perceptions, or reform them - now there's a task. One particular person in my household who shall remain anonymous but his initials are hunky hubby can not understand why in heaven's good name I would choose the cosmetology field when I have a bachelor's degree, post graduate classes and 20 years of business experience under my belt. "But it's like you're starting OVER and WHY would you want to DOOOOO that when you could have something so much more gratifying if you updated your resume and went back into your field? Used your degree? Leaned on all your experience?" This accompanied by much head scratching.
Well here's the thing. Gratifying to WHOM??? My sweet hubby is such a man. I have to declare to you that I'm extremely pleased about this particular detail. It works out well for our relationship. As men go however, it seems they're convinced that their job, their career, their earning potential defines them, plays a large if not primary role in determining their value - their worth - their import - their place - to others as well as to themselves.
Why yes. It IS a rank generalization, thank you for noticing. In my frame of reference however, it is a true one. Of the men I know, I can say with no misgivings they embrace the concept. Own it.
My hunky hubby for example, didn't attempt to hide his confusion. There was no judgment attached, just sheer stupefaction. He was bewildered. Befuddled. Asking for explanation. But (and listen closely my peeps, cauz this is why I adore this man so ding dang much) as he rubbed his head in confusion and before I ever began to attempt to try to get ready to undertake to endeavor to answer his inquiry, he announced "Well I support it. I support you. I don't claim to fully understand it yet. But it doesn't matter. I'm on board."
I'M ON BOARD.
What, I ask you, could a husband ever do that's more right than that?
Well I'll tell you what. In order to ensure my 9 year old 4th grader isn't a latchkey kid on occasion, I did the paperwork this morning for ASP. Completed the forms, paid the registration fee, and plunked a chunk of $$ in a top-up prepaid account. That way on early release days, inclement weather days and the like when I have school but Jared does not, we will have a plan. An easy arrangement giving him a place to be that is supervised, structured, and promises to strike a good balance between work and play. There are college students to help them with their homework and play games with them. There are teachers and school staff administering and managing the program. The truth is we might possibly take advantage of this option ten to twenty hours the entire schoolyear, but no matter. It's there. It's a net.
Jared has a much different perspective. Jared, since the second we met, has been attached to my hip. I said "Hello baby, guess what. You belong to me," and he responded by clamping himself onto my body and not letting go. Yet. Since. Ever. For the first five weeks I went everywhere with the little dark chubby cherub clamped onto me, full frontal. I learned how to go to the restroom, sleep, grocery shop, and cook with him locked on. At the present time he has evolved to the nine year old version of that. Socially adept, academically first-rate, emotionally on target, but attached to Mom nonetheless. I can come home from a 45 minute trip to Publix and he greets me at the door. "MOMMMMM, I missed you SO MUCH!!!" Again. Full frontal contact, and not just for a few comfortable seconds. Latched on. My hunky hubby, that angel's Daddy, is rolling his eyes and smacking his forehead.
So in Jared's eyes it was clearly, neatly an act of treason when I enrolled him in ASP. A betrayal. He appeared jilted. Forsaken. I was the double-crosser; Judas. "Whyyyyy, Mom, why can't you let me stay by myself??? And speaking of whyyy, why do you have to do this school thing???"
I explained it using the summarily self-involved version that goes like this: "Because I want to."
Jared looked confused. "Wull, why would you wanna do THET???"
Again, the short answer. "I just do." Then, for some obscure, unintelligible reason, I went on. "Jared you are growing up so fast. You are such a fabulous kid, and you'll be an even more fabulous man. When you are a man, you and I won't live together anymore. You will be on your own and you'll fall in love with someone and create a life of your own. You know what? That happened to me. The guy I fell in love with? That's your Dad. And he and I will still be together when you're off building your own life.
"But you don't want to be my Mom NOW?"
OH. Oh you're good, Mr. Jared. But no, nooo, no no no NO. You're not THAT good. Not gonna work.
So we had a little discussion about what it means, and doesn't mean, to be a Mom.
Now Ronny comes home from work. I relate the story to him, woebegone and dejected, for although I held my own with my boy, I melted into a puddle of guilt and uncertainty with him. So here's where he bested himself. "Aww honey. This was OUR decision. Not your decision. You may've carried out the duty but we decided on it together. I'm on it. Where is he?"
Thank you Jesus, for a husband who owns his job, understands his responsibilities. Who owns his opinions and his confusion and the ideals he carries with his Man Card.
And now, thank you for a husband who is amenable to being guinea pig for a facial and facial massage. Mama has to practice.
Who says men don't know where their bread's buttered?