Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Are You Fixable?

I am participating in the memoir link-up sponsored by The Red Dress Club:

The prompt is to describe a scene from your life that would help show a person your true self.

Are You Fixable?

In a quaint and cramped Mexican restaurant, my husband and I sat across from each other, hardly knowing what to talk about.

So, we talked about our son. Our baby. Our beautiful, colicky, screaming baby.

“What do you think they’re doing right now?” my husband asked.

“Crying. They’re all crying,” I said cynically.

My husband nodded silently and took another sip of his margarita.

We had a night away on my birthday. Our son was with babysitters. We should have been partying down like our old carefree selves, but instead all we needed was a moment of silence.

We hardly knew how to speak to each other anymore without shouting at each other over the screaming of our son. I judged myself, as always, too harshly for feeling confusion and helplessness when mothering my own child. I was scared that I wouldn’t survive it. I was scared our marriage wouldn’t survive it. The emotion of it all sometimes seemed too much to bear.

I needed some reassurance from my husband. I needed to know that we were in this together. I needed to know that HE thought I was ok, even if I wasn’t so sure about myself.

“It’s been really hard,” I started.

“Yeah,” was all my husband said.

“I don’t know how I could do it without you,” I said. “Can you imagine people who are alone and have an infant?”

“No, not at all,” my husband said while shaking his head.

My husband looked up at me. He looked straight in my eyes. His eyes were filling with tears. He looked away, and then down and rubbed his face.

“It’s just been really hard,” he said, not able to speak anymore, trying to choke back the tears.

My entire insides shifted. I could not believe that my husband was so affected. It surprised me that he was showing himself to be so vulnerable. At that moment, I knew I was not alone. I knew this was all way more than just about me and my feelings. Instead of needing reassurance, I needed to reassure. My energy changed and all I yearned to do was comfort. And fix.

“Oh, honey,” I said, leaning forward, “You know what I tell myself sometimes when it all feels too hard?”

He looked at me.

I continued, “I tell myself that maybe God gave us Parker because we can handle it. You know?”

He nodded and kept looking at me.

“We CAN handle it. Just think. If Parker were given to a different family and they couldn’t handle it all – the reflux, the colic, the allergy, the crying – God knows what would happen and how someone else might handle it. But God didn’t do that. He gave him to US. Because we can handle it,” I said.

At that, my husband began openly crying and reached across the table to take my hands.

We held hands at a restaurant table for the first time in years.


Karen said...

Sounds like you are a nurturer, strong, and have the ability to have perspective. And I think I'll take that perspective you offered your husband when he needed it and tuck it into my own little tool bag for those challenging days. You've managed to write a piece that not only shares about you, but also offers a nugget of sanity for others to hold when they might need it.....that's great! :>

Denelle @CaitsConcepts said...

Ack, I'm crying right now! This was EXACTLY how it was with my now 6yo. So overwhelming and he was our first child together.. we went from being just us, to being total strangers for awhile because all that time was spent in exhaustion and nurturing a colicky newborn.

But you're exactly right. We handled it. Even though it didn't always feel like it.

Amanda said...

Awww. So sweet. I don't think my husband has ever cried like that. It was a beautifully written scene. :)

Miranda said...

I think you just described my child!

Gah. Reading this I remember the first time we went out to dinner without him (an event which has only happened three times...). We just sat there. Dumbstruck.

Good job!

WTH am I Doing? said...

I remember those nights...being out without the baby, not quite knowing what to do. :)

This is a very touching moment. Very awesome to know that you truly have a partner in this.

Visiting from the Red Dress Club linkup. :)

Babes Mami said...

Aww you gave me tears. It is so wonderful to have a partner who knows and understands and feels!

The mad woman behind the blog said...

You know, you've now invited over 300 women to come cry on your shoulder. This post SCREAMS
What a beautiful moment to share with us and to have with your husband.

Jenna said...



oooooh this.

thank you. thank you for sharing a look into your story. So beautifully done. Showing who you are and who you and your husband are as a couple.

Cristina said...

you just made me cry.. and I was really trying not to because my husband and his cousin are sitting right in front of me, arguing about nothing and being all annoying.. and so I'm trying really hard not to cry and you wouldn't let me. this was such a beautiful moment!

Cheryl said...

You really nailed it - again! - Kristy. The colic and the constant stress. It still makes me upset remembering how much it impacted our family, and our marriage.

I don't know if I'm the best mother for my children, but I'm the one they've got, and I know I did the best I could to get the second two through all the crying.

Lizz said...

I have no words. A beautiful moment. Thank you for inviting us in.

Leighann said...

Beautiful and perfectly said.
A great reminder that sometimes my husband needs to be asked how he's doing.

Anonymous said...

What an amazing moment to share! I think, sometimes, we forget that even though we had months of prep to becoming a mother, it all happens a bit suddenly for dads.

I'm so glad you shared this.

Tenille @ Help!Mum said...

What a beautiful moment. It isn't easy, this parenting thing. It's very easy to underestimate the impact it has on your life and your relationship. I know I did.

Annette said...

Yes, my husband and I have had these moments ourselves. I so agree with the saying that God never gives you more than you can handle. So, I keep telling myself, even during the hardest days, that I can handle it. Everything is happening the way it is supposed to... I love your faith and optimism Kristy!

Keda said...

You don't have to go through the worst of it to almost lose one another, or to find one another. Lots of parents don't even have it hard and they just end up loving their children and not each other any more. Be glad that after all the hard times, you have just remembered who you are in this with.
beautiful piece, so much emotion. May you live a happy life!

Glen said...

bless you.

Stephanie said...

Kristy, I am bawling. You are 100% right. This is so beautiful, so perfectly you too.

--The Drama Mama

CDG said...

This speaks volumes about you, and perhaps more about your husband and your partnership.

What a wonderful glimpse into your life!

Michelle said...

I love it, Kristy! I just read this out loud to Tyler because this so perfectly describes us, too!! I love you and your hubby! What a great blog!

randine said...

Oh, that is lovely.

I can relate to so much of this. When my husband and I are alone we usually sit awkwardly, looking around, making random observations about the decor or the people around us. Then we lapse into silence. Then we start talking about the kids. It's good to know we're not the only couple out there like that.

You sound like a very giving and generous person. I'm not sure I could have been like that.

Amy said...


I have SO been there...with my husband...in that Mexican restaurant. Even discussing how we were chosen for Jackson because we could handle it.

I really love this post, mama:)

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing this with us. I feel like I know a different side of you. It touched me completely. Thank you.

Pearl said...

I think I'd have to stomp on my husband's foot to see tears in his eyes!


(Florida) Girl said...

One of my old bosses had a colicky baby and he turned into a miserable person to be around. Can't be easy.

Rebekah C said...

Right, so, now I'm in tears. What a raw, honest moment. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

How wonderful that the two of you could open up and trust each other like that - and what a great point you made to him. My second son had colic and I know how trying that can be by itself. Wonderful job pulling us into the moment.

Carri said...

I can so relate to this! I don't know how single moms do it... it's so so hard. My husband and I look back on those times and just shutter. Thank you for sharing this moment.

Anonymous said...

Wow. Just wow. Mr G and I are yet to spend anytime alone without Miss A who is now 17 months. It's okay to sit at home when she's asleep and chat on the couch, but to be honest I'm just not sure how we'll handle it being out on our own at dinner, what we would talk about it..one day..x

Hello! I'm Kate. said...

Beautiful post! Sometimes I have to stop & remind myself that my husband is sharing in his part of the parenting highs & lows as well.

Sounds like that date was exactly what y'all needed!

I'm stopping by from Carri's!

Sarah said...

I think that God gave me a colicky baby SECOND instead of FIRST just so that I'd know that it WOULD eventually end!
Thanks for sharing such a sweet moment (albeit a tough one) with the rest of us!

Patty said...

I have tears in my eyes right now that I can hardly type. You see we have been going thru some tough times with our 19 y.o. daughter. And I tell ya it never ends. Parenting is just plain tough. Thanks for telling it like it is.