Tuesday, December 2, 2014


This house is too quiet.  Even when it used to be quiet, the silence was created by three, not two.  The silence of two is different.  Right now it's darker.  It's heavier.  It's intoxicating.  I know it won't always be like this.  But, right now, it just is.

I was folding laundry and moved to punch out this post.

I was the dishes guy.  I'd cook.  I'd organize.  And I was the default dish washer.  That's my wheelhouse.  I got that.  You've got a dirty spatula?  I'll make it shine again.  (I don't like to do it, but I get the job done.)

Jill was the laundry lady.  It wasn't something we labeled one another.  But, when our household fell into place, it just so happened that I was on dish duty and Jill made sure we wore clean clothes.  It worked.  It all worked.

Even when it didn't work, it worked.  We worked.

So I'm in the middle of my second laundry load this evening.  No big deal.  I got this.  It's not like it's a manual process.  I load the clothes, pour the detergent, and push a few buttons.  Go.  Not a problem.

Where I get hung up and what really moved me to post this one tonight is the post dryer scenario.  In other words, the folding.  Give me towels.  I can fold towels all day.  I'll stack 'em and shelf 'em.  Done.  But, clothes...more specifically, shirts, I've got a problem. I've always had a problem.  It's like I need a tutorial from a part time Gap employee.  They can fold like champs.  (Do champs fold laundry?)  Here's the thing.  I can get the job done.  I can make do.  But, Jilly didn't make do.  She folded that shit like someone was watching.  Tight corners.  No wrinkles.  No random cuffs tucked in to disguise shoddy work.  (Been there.  Am there.)

We actually had conversations (plural) about this.  She'd patiently tutor me and we'd laugh at my failure.

Now it's on me.  And I wonder, does Ro recognize my inability to match her mom's folding skills?  Does she look at her stack of clean clothes and think, "Is this what I'm left with...a guy that can't even properly fold a shirt?"  Does any iteration of this seep into her always-on brain?  Is my inability to fold a microcosm of my parenting abilities?  If he can't fold, he can't parent at the highest levels.

Don't get me wrong.  We're getting by.  We're getting to school on time.  No one's wearing paper pants.  Right now we're making it - one cliched day at a time.

But just making it isn't enough.  This kid - my daughter, my focus, my center - needs to have the ability to thrive at every opportunity in life.  I don't want anything - including me - to stand in her way of greatness.  If you ask me (you didn't), she's already great.  She excels.  I want this to continue.  I need this to continue.

I talked about this w/ Jilly.  "I don't want to break her," I'd say to her, holding back tears.

Jill said all the things you'd expect Jill to say - all things supportive, reassuring, and sincere.

But the truth is no one knows how we'll handle tomorrow.  We had much better odds as three than we do now as two.  Will I position it that way to Ro?  Never.  Will I do everything in my power to ensure she has the brightest future possible?  W/o a doubt.

It just may be that we're wearing wrinkled shirts along the way.

All love,

J, J, & r

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