Thursday, March 4, 2010
What's love got to do with it?
For a change of pace I thought I might write about my relationship with my beautiful boys' father tonight. He rarely gets a mention over in blogtown and more often than not resides in "dogtown" which is a mythical place I've created in my mind much like the proverbial doghouse many of us girls refer to when the hubby has done wrong... Or just annoyed us a bit....... For whatever reason of the day.... ok minute..... that we've...... ok then.... I've decided warrants a one way ticket to "dogtown."
I heard a statistic that parents of children with Autism have an 87% likelihood of divorce. I'm way too tired tonight to trawl through the internet or any of my numerous Autism books to find exactly where that statistic came from but even if it's wrong, it's pretty close. It's well recognised if it's not 87% it's at least a VERY high divorce rate in our families.
I decided to write about A tonight because there are days..... ok..... weeks sometimes that go by and I don't have a conversation with him. We talk about the kids and what's for dinner and even stretch to talk about what's on TV but I'm talking about a real conversation of substance and depth about what's going on in our worlds that have become almost separate. He works all day and I do the "kid stuff" and run the "house stuff" and stuff as much advocacy, awareness raising and ignorant arse kicking as I can into any day before scratching my constant writing itch most nights and collapsing into bed in the wee hours long after Andrew has toddled off to snore loudly until he gets up at the crack of dawn to work all day again. That's our existence, oops, I mean life. Anyone who is reading this who has a child with any kind of diagnosis will be nodding their head right about now because those of us in our exclusive club know how easy it is to get caught up in the world of only discussing what appointments we have to be at, what paperwork needs to be signed for whatever tiny skerrick of funding the family is trying to attain and who's turn it is to change a nappy or get up to whoever is restless in the night because someone is ALWAYS restless in the night.
If I was to be honest, I cannot remember the last time I asked the man I love, how his day was and I certainly haven't asked him if anything has inspired him or lit up his soul recently. In fairness, he's a fellow of very few words so it's very easy for me to blame our lack of communication all on him. I joke our kids have my desire to be social and A's skills.... Oh how VERY funny of me!
I would have to admit to being very quick to point out all of the things he does not do but I cannot remember when I last thanked him for cooking me a beautiful dinner (which he does often) or acknowledged that I know he does his best, works hard and obviously loves his family.
This is a man who I just noticed dragging a mattress down the hall so he could sleep on it instead of in our bed tonight because I complained this morning that I did not get much sleep due to his snoring (in fairness, it is a little like a freight train carrying a herd of mating cattle powering through the bedroom all night) but still, he's thought of me tonight and to allow me to get more sleep for my next round of butt kicking tomorrow, he has put himself out (without talking about it at length or analysing ourselves to death through an argument). He just trotted down the hall with his mattress and pillow after giving me a kiss and wishing me a good night's sleep.
I mentioned that he cooks for me. I should probably expand on this and explain that he cooked extra each night this week and set a meal aside in a take away container so I could deliver a home cooked meal to a dear friend who is staying with her seriously ill child at hospital indefinitely. see here I mean, what a man. I didn't ask him to do that, he just did it quietly, without fuss and told me the meals were in the freezer for when I next popped over to the hospital.
He hand mows a very very very big lawn so our kids are safe from snakes and other nasties that dwell in a rural yard and pretty much bends over backwards to provide whatever it is any of us are demanding of him on any given day.
Why am I so soppy tonight? Oh, I don't know really. I think the dragging of the mattress tugged at some forgotten heartstrings that are all too easily put to the back of your mind in a lifestyle well documented to be prone to divorce, stress and hardship.
I've connected with some really great women over the course of the past few months via a business course I'm doing and I realised that most of these women talk to their husbands and know what it is that their husbands like to do and one even set herself a seven day challenge to not complain or be negative at all about her partner. See here, it's hilarious....
I'm not promising I'm setting myself such challenges here but I at least acknowledge that if there is a communication breakdown it's not just the quiet man's fault..... Perhaps I should stop imagining fictional towns of doghouses to send him to if the poor exhausted, drained and seriously neglected guy goes to bed without taking the bloody garbage out and instead thank him for cooking me dinner pouring me a glass of wine and asking me how my day was. Maybe I should even follow his lead occasionally and do the same for him.
It's so easy to use the Autism excuse for so many things. I accept it can be all consuming and does place stress on a family both emotionally and financially but geez, it seems I've forgotten I am married and that we were madly in love. I think we still might be underneath the pile of stress we live under. I'm not sure when it was that I woke up with a really kind and patient flatmate instead of a life partner who is clearly waiting for me to at least walk down the hall if not another aisle and acknowledge his enormous but quiet contribution to our family.
I think I'll head to bed and call the wreckers in to demolish the mythical dogtown in my head whilst I get my good night's sleep thanks to my very considerate husband.
J and H have a really wonderful father and over the next few weeks I am going in search of my long lost but really wonderful husband.
For now though, I am heading to my quiet bed.
**** Endnote: A has never read my blog. For those who do read it I'd like to tell him myself of my husband search so let's keep it our little secret for now and I'll surprise him tomorrow night with a meal, a glass of wine and an enquiry as to how his day was. We have to start searching for our relationship somewhere and I think that's a good place.****