Sunday, May 25, 2008

The maze

I got lectured by my mom last night. She starts out, "Jen, you've gotta give Ryan a break." I ask, "What do you mean?" "You work him like a dog. He never has a moment to himself. And you've got to realize, that he's a diabetic. That takes a huge toll on his body. I know he's young, but he needs rest." 

(OK, for starters, you don't pull out the diabetic card like that. Completely unfair.)

But, let's think rationally about this.  Well, Ryan did help me peel sweet potatoes in the morning before heading out with the big kids for swimming lessons. When they got home, Mom and I and the girls went shopping. Meanwhile, he put the babes down for a nap, played ball with Nathan in the yard, and mowed the grass. We got home, I fed the babes, and in the balmy afternoon sun, he played more games with the kids. Then came dinner (which I made), baths (which he drew and I finished), and for the grand finale, he feel dead asleep, first on the couch, then prostrate on the bed (still wearing his baseball cap and Asics). Mom generously did the dream feed for him, and I roused him just enough to get him in bed sans shoes. 

The evidence is yours to evaluate. But you might guess that I'm just a little bitter (incensed?) at the notion that somehow Ryan works like a dog, and he deserves more breaks. Breaks? Who gets breaks when you've got five kids? Everything is work. There seems to be no letting up for either of us. We both work all week long and continue working outside"normal business hours." It sounds like I resent it, and truth is, most days I don't. But somewhere, lurking inside me, is this apparent readiness to claw the eyes out of anyone who would suggest that somehow Ryan works harder than I do.

I've got my litany of reasons why not. Nursing two kids? Can I just stop there? So this morning I wake up a little bitter - at mom and however unfortunate, at Ryan, too. My mind turns on sentences and paragraphs that all begin with, "I. . ." or "My. . ." It's a dangerous place to be. It's a surefire road to resentment and bitterness. It's the "I" that crucifies marriage.

And so I pray and open the Scriptures this morning. It's a habit I just can't kick. And there, I look for a way out of the maze of "I" and "my." 


Anonymous said...

As I clean the poop stain off the rug at my in-laws my 2 1/2 year old left behind, remind my 4 1/2 year old not to suck her thumb, answer a very impromptu question about the birds and the bees to my 8 year old and remind my 7 year old (the only boy) once again to take his shoes off in the house all while I try to lean over my 5 month pregnant belly to tidy up the house, and then Jeremy comes home from his day and says he needs some time alone before he can hang out with us...I feel for you. It may sound cheezy, but taking the Meyers-Briggs personality test (MBTI) to better understand each other has done volumes for our marriage. Now I actually encourage Jeremy to go have some time to himself because I understand what that does for him. And as he endeavors to love me as Christ loves the church, I feel the sensitivity reciprocated. Glad someone else is ahead of us in the 5-kid world...we can watch you and learn!

The Quinn Kids: said...

I've had those exact same feelings Jen. You are definitely not alone...

Eph. 4:31-32
31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. 32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

I know with my heart that I should go the route of 32, but sometimes I can't get my mind out of 31..