I usually ask J a certain question while he’s at work every day (the question itself is private and personal, so I won’t say what it is). Nearly every day, I ask this question…sometimes I ask before he leaves for work, and sometimes I’ll text him during the day, and sometimes I’ll ask him when he texts me on his lunch hour (which he does every single day unless his work day is insanity). But I mean…I almost always ask it.
But this past week, I never asked. Not once.
And J noticed.
When we turned in to sleep on Friday night, he turned to me and said, ‘You never asked me once all week. Are you alright? Are you stressed about The Boy’s school activities or the additional housework and obligations with the house this week or because of spending extra time with your family? Or all of that?’
Yeah. It was all of that.
Our son tried out for a school team this week, so he was after school a couple of days. That’s not only a change in routine, but me hoping he enjoyed himself and did well at those try-outs, and worrying about him being at school an extra hour for two days and hoping those schedule differences went smoothly.
I spent almost all day Thursday out with my mom and an aunt at their request. That’s always a long day.
We ordered some new furniture for our living room, and it got delivered on Friday. Now, I’m an introverted homemaker…I’m here all day and delivery would be easy for any time during the day…except for one hour in the afternoon when I pick The Boy up from school. Guess when the non-negotiable delivery window was… SIGH. It all worked out though. The Boy volunteered to ride the bus home Friday, so I didn’t have to spend additional time with my mom or enlist my mom to come over here and ‘help’ with the furniture delivery. That got complicated (because of course it did…my brain connects things and searches for deeper meaning constantly).
See, when I was growing up, my mom moved/rearranged the furniture in our house weekly or more often. She’s a big fan of change for the sake of changing. I’ve always preferred more stability. And my mom also loves, now that I’m an adult, to casually suggest ways to move/rearrange the furniture in our home. And she wants to take everything out of my kitchen drawers and cabinets and put everything where SHE thinks it should go. In MY kitchen. In OUR house. Where she does not cook or eat or live. Once, before we got our RV, when our dog was still with us, my mom dog-sat for us (and constantly complained about being asked to dog-sit and what a gigantic inconvenience our dog was and that we’d spoiled her and blah blah blah…) and she stayed at our house (because that way our dog would not sleep in HER bed or shed any hair in HER house). And while we were gone, my mom replaced the welcome mat on our front porch with one that she liked better. I guess I should be grateful she didn’t remodel my kitchen and move all my furniture.
Anyway, with the new furniture, I could honestly see her salivating and chomping at the bit to take delivery for me while I retrieved The Boy from school, and thinking that gave her license to place it and rearrange it at will. I didn’t want that. The thought of it gave me a lot of anxiety that The Boy could see. But I felt guilty that he offered to ride the bus. “Mom. It’s okay. I can hold my violin case like this <demonstrates>. It’s just one day. And I mean…this is *almost* an emergency. We can’t have Gramma dealing with the furniture.” So I sent my son a text that thanked him a lot and detailed that I certainly think he is more important than getting new furniture and that if we could have negotiated the delivery window, I like picking him up from school and that I loved him very much. Because I didn’t want The Boy to think for a second that I prioritized getting new stuff over his safety or happiness. (He thought it was overkill. But I wanted to make sure.)
Then, of course, taking delivery of the furniture meant strangers in the house for a little while. Never my favorite. I called J on the phone and left the line open while the delivery staff was here. They left immediately before The Boy’s bus arrived. Everything was fine, but that’s taxing for me.
And then yesterday, I had a family wedding shower. That my aunt, cousin, and mom were totally unprepared for. I offered to help with it on Thursday. They told me they didn’t need my help. So I took it easy Saturday morning, gearing my socially anxious introvert self up for a day crowded with loud, potentially hostile strangers and always emotionally and mentally draining family members. As I was getting ready to step into the shower, my mom called…frantic…asking me to buy ice and get there right away! They needed help! And ice! J went out with The Boy to buy ice while I was in the shower. And when I got to the venue (in my dress), she asked me to brown five pounds of ground beef, because the plan was to cook it in the slow cooker for tacos, but now there wasn’t enough time for that. So I stood over a steaming skillet, cooking, wondering why they hadn’t done any of the food prep before an hour before the shower began and why they insisted two days prior that they didn’t need any help. ???
Anyway…J noticed. That I didn’t ask a regular question all week. And that it was likely because I was feeling ‘off’ and anxious. He actually noticed that and I didn’t…not until he pointed it out. One of many reasons I love J like a schoolgirl crush still after all of these years is because he still notices me. I’m feeling better today. Now that all of that drama and worry is over. And I’m glad and grateful that he notices me. Those little ways he shows he pays attention to me and cares make me feel so loved.