03 March, 2011

Deafening but Deepening?

Our home is far from the center of marital bliss in northeast Wisconsin. The combination of the winter blues, a overscheduled calendar, 2 children under two years of age, a state budget crisis and two stubborn, pigheaded spouses just begs for some kind of chemical explosion. Ours happened on Kevin’s 38th birthday…over a cup of tea.

Actually, it was the spilling of foresaid beverage that prompted the explosion. And it wasn’t so much the spilling, but a disagreement about who was to clean up the carpet.

Who started the fire, or the parameters are not important. Nor is the fact that one of us ended up locked in the bathroom sobbing.

The real issue at hand is that each person has their breaking point. Each person has a moment where the oatmeal hits the floor, the pot boils over, or the diaper breaches. There are just some things in life that are too much. For us, it just happened at the same time.

We had it out, but in our hearts we both just wanted a pass. We both needed someone to step up and give us a break. And neither did.

And our hearts hurt. We hate being mad at each other. We just wanted to make it better, but neither of us was willing to extend the olive branch.

By the time an early bedtime rolled around for the kids, we were both ready to just have the whole thing be over. It was as though we couldn’t get to “I’m sorry” fast enough. We talked, we listened, we cried. We didn’t solve all the problems, but we went to bed committed to being kinder to one another.

And that is the best that we can do some days. We don’t worry that it happens. We’ll worry when we no longer see it as an opportunity to communicate and grow. We’ll worry when the deafening sounds or silence no longer lead to depth.

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