April 23, 2012

It's All Relative

It's Monday. The older kids are at daycare (Someday: the explanation. Today: not), Bean is asleep in the playpen beside me, and I'm sitting in a house that is not burnt down, with a relatively small laundry pile, mostly clean dishes, and fairly tidy living room.

This is not remarkable, except when I consider this fact: I haven't been in the house since Friday afternoon.

Seth has been home with Miss and Junior (This is getting boring and hard to do, so forget it.) Norah and Oscar, and I've been off gallivanting with Bean Lucy, my Mother, her five sisters, sister-in-law, and their assorted daughters, nieces, grandchildren, and grandnieces.

Women in groups are complicated, and related women more so. But every year (and this was the sixth) I enjoy myself and the time I get to spend with cousins and aunts that - owing to geography - I might not otherwise see or have enough time to devote to real conversations.

So since this is an event that I'd be bitterly disappointed to miss, my dear husband stays home with whatever kids we have who aren't breastfeeding and tries to keep body and soul together while I perform the only magic trick I know: Magical Disappearing Mommy.

It's not something he looks forward to with anticipation, but he manages, and although he doesn't have the kind of logical thinking that posits dismemberment and possible death from unsupervised pencil running, he can keep the kids well fed and entertained. And he doesn't let the house burn down - not literally, and since that time three years ago when I came home to a driveway full of our living room furniture and a living room full of our bedroom furniture, not figuratively either.

Let's not remind him about that year.