Sunday, April 6, 2008


To be loved for what one is, is the greatest exception. The great majority love in others only what they lend him, their own selves, their version of him.~Goethe

I have felt like I've been swimming upstream-alone. I have been trying desperately to put into practice the tools I've learned from "The Explosive Child" book (see previous post) in regards to Olivia. Truth be told I have failed a lot but I've also tried to be very consistent and Olivia has been a star at holding it together. Nine days without an explosion (yes, I am counting). Bless her. While Eric agrees with the book he has been dreadful at implementation. And he knows it. Bless him. But I have been really disappointed in him. More than that- he has been disappointed in himself. And so we talked --about how hard it is to change habits, to buck conventional wisdom, to silence the tape in your head that makes you question if you really are doing the right thing. Beyond that we delved into how he feels that I am always driving the bus and I explained that I often feel he'd fall asleep at the wheel. We both got it.

He headed out of town late on Thursday to visit his mom in upstate New York. His overnight flight was delayed so he called me to chat. As he sat in the airport I laid tucked up in our bed and we talked about everything-- and nothing. I let out giant belly laughs. And I remembered clearly why I love him madly. I remembered how chatting with him in the dark each night is the perfect way to end my day, that he picks the best songs to play when we're making dinner or getting the kids ready for bed, the stories he tells the girls each night about rock stars and monsters and sports heroes and how they believe that he lived them all, how it is always him that quietly speaks into the silent night air each evening, "I love you, Kate" just before he falls asleep. And I couldn't wait for him to return to us.

Eric has always contended that we "work" because I don't let anything go--I discuss, analyze and want to sort out and "fix" nearly each thing about our relationship that does not sit well with me. I contend that we "work" because he listens and more than that--he hears me and tries everything in his power to make things right for us. We accept each other for who we are (even though it is not always easy to do and we are very different people).

Olivia is at a sleepover tonite and so Audrey asked if she could sleep in my big bed with me since Papa is gone. I told her Frib, Alice, and I would be delighted to feel her feet in the night. We walked the dogs around our little neighborhood park together before bed just as Eric and I do so many nights and she collected trash to recycle as we went along--just like her dad. She pointed out the sky and talked about the night air and how good it feels- just like her dad. She came through the front door and immediately gave each dog a treat-just like her dad. And then I brushed her teeth, put cream on her cheeks and tucked her in my bed and told her I'd be back after I got a few things done. "I know, Mama, you're just going to grab your laptop and then come to bed," she said. And that insight was certainly "just like her dad." And he -and she- love me as I am. And because of that I love & accept him more each day just as he is. I can't wait to tell him in person.


Carrie said...

Loved the underlying message in this post.

I agree. I'm not always on the same page as D. Sometimes, I feel we are *both* driving the bus, only in different directions, particularly when it comes to parenting!

Yet, when he goes away on business trips, I appreciate and actually embrace those differences we seem to share about life (well sometimes!); I do think it makes us look at things with a fresh perspective.


k/ said...

I appreciate you more than words, Car...Thank you for sharing this with me. k

McJuicemom said...

I've been sitting in front of this comment screen for nearly 45 minutes - I know I feel things I want to say, but can't quite find the words to write.

You at least have the courage to put this out there. It's still one topic I have a hard time finding the right words to express my true feelings and thoughts.

It's interesting how 2 people can be so in love and yet so much work has to go into keeping up that love. It's so hard to stay an individual and part of a couple at the same time day in and day out. Some days I really miss my single days - no one to take care of, no one to foil my plans, no one to criticize or demand or misplace my stuff. But I know I wouldn't want that every day either. I love M and I love who he is. I just wish that somehow I had someone who would take care of me, take over driving that bus (M has no desire to drive that thing!)

In any case, I just know that this thing called marriage is no picnic. I hope you can laugh more than you do anything else. It has more staying power and is lots more fun:-)


k/ said...

Your honesty gave me chills. You also drove home just why I "put it out there". That and the fact that Carrie read this post online just before I deleted it from my blog and then she called me on it wondering why. How I love her--the sis I never had. I had a very hard time with this post. I did not want it to be about what Eric does/did wrong but more about about the journey to acceptance and how it's an ongoing one. And about my journey. Not his. I also think it was good for me to put in print all the things I fell in love with about him are still so clearly visible (and how late night chats and five days apart really help me to recall them). But in all candor life is nuts and raising kids is challenging for us and seeing eye to eye ain't always easy. Yet in the end it's worth it and the fact that he still loves me madly sure gives me great incentive to do the same in return. Thanks for sharing your heart... k

Anonymous said...

I admire your honesty and willingness to put your heart out there. And for reminding each other of why you are the Wilkinsons- the wonderful family God planted here for a reason. I have to say I wish that more people could be in tune with this topic and just get real with it. Hence the 50% divorce rate... and counting. You guys do have a magical kind of love- one that is a joy to watch. I think its good for us to sometimes have a moment just to reflect on our better halves and remember why we're on the bus in the first place:)Miss you... Jj

Nick said...

Love you, your insightfulness, and your honesty. Such a powerful post, one which I feel most of us can relate to. There isn't a day that goes by where I wish I could sit in the back of that bus and let someone else take over! Even if only for a moment. Thank you for posting your struggles, strength, showing us all to have courage.