How it Happens

He’s eating lunch in his classroom hunched in front of his laptop. I’m eating mine at home in the kitchen, but also in front of the laptop. One of our cars, my car, is in the shop. This is a minor catastrophe. We are also in the process of putting our house on the market .

I work this evening, so talking before I go in isn’t really an option. It’s the last week of school, because of the car mess, I have had to reschedule a dental appointment for a child and we have kindergarten graduation this week. If the car isn’t ready tomorrow, Joseph will have no one there for him. And that will be very upsetting both to him and me.  We communicate on the work email for that.

Realtors have been ringing us off the hook, those go to personal email.

I know, sorry excuse for communication, but we’re blessed to have it. Otherwise, I’d have to shout a few things to him on my way out and his way in. And even if I am home…there are kids to feed and bathe and referee. Quiet time is a luxury here.

Having one parent stay at home doesn’t always mean there is this awesome communication that is suddenly lost when both parents work outside of the home. I know plenty of moms with husbands who are in medical or law school or studying for the bar or who just work maniacal shifts who play the communication-game we do. And sometimes it ends up even worse because cell phones are off and email is down and on and on.

Communication is something that all married couples, at some point or another, will have to work at.  And there will be plenty of times it is less than ideal. Sometimes, in the throes of having a newborn, for example, single syllables will be your best bet. Plenty of times in those days I would say, “baby” or “dog” or “girl” and Jeff knew to either get me a diaper for the baby, let the dog in or stop Shelby from destroying our home. This is not a case of knowing each others’ needs in such an outstanding way. No, it’s more of survival and what worked best at the time.

Sitting at separate screens trying to succinctly communicate what has to be done is not ideal or even fun. But it works. There will be days, God willing, when we can speak at length and languish over details. It just ain’t that season yet.

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