Tuesday, 17 April 2007

I don't know what I was, but I know I wasn't mad.

Therapy this morning was helpful to the point of being an overpriced gentle reminder that not everyone in the world is on my timetable, nor do people share my opinions on things, and might possibly make up their own minds.

Lord only knows, if you don't shove and push Bridget very hard sometimes, she won't get out of her own way. Maybe I needed this. Maybe this signifies our sugar-line in a more concrete fashion. After all, this life is not about just me, and it's not about Jacob. It's about all four of us, and Ruth and Henry's happiness is a blessing on all counts. They're my troopers. They come before my bullshit.

Besides, no one cares how I feel outside of this bubble. The world is turning. I think today a lot of people wish it would turn backward so that they could prevent, or save or have just one more blessed minute. I read the news. My problems, real or perceived, are so small.

The best part from the morning was Jacob's thumb again, resting on the back of my neck and tracing my tattoo like it was a rail. After the first fifteen minutes it became raw and painful but he continued to do it for the entire two hours and I endured it because I liked it. It gave me something to focus on besides the reaction my rather uncharacteristic one-word responses were evoking from Claus and from Jacob.

After lunch Jacob and I headed out with work gloves and rakes and tackled the front yard together. We haven't had a nice word for each other for the better part of a day and a half, as I am a legendary non-talker when I'm thinking and he likes to give people as much room as possible to put their thoughts together without infringing on their private ruminations. He waits for me to speak, and I wait for him to give up and get pissed off and walk out.

He won't do it now. He knows me so well. And I push him right back because that's what we do and since we're aware then it's still healthy. I just love the gentle bonks on my head to remind me that I'm not special. Even though I am. He talks out both sides of his gorgeous mouth and I know he's dealing platitudes until something sticks and I start talking.

And I did.

Halfway through putting a pile of leaves into the wheelbarrow, I threw the rake down and started in. He stood patiently in the middle of the front yard with his hands crossed on the top of his rake handle and paid close attention while I let it all out. My anger, my betrayal, my fear, my remorse, my trepidation and he only interrupted once to remind me so gently just to breathe while I prattled on and on.

Because secretly he loves playing therapist to me, and he loves it when I erupt with chaotic verbal onslaughts after saying so little for three days. I think sometimes he remembers that as long as I'm talking I'm okay.

When I was done I took a very deep shaky breath and squeezed my eyes shut, waiting for an equally cutting tirade to begin. Jacob has a gift for that and he's so much better at it than I am.

After a minute a handful of leaves landed on my head and I opened my eyes narrowly to see him grinning at me.

Are you done, princess?

Yes, I think so.

Good, I'd like to take you out for lunch and it's always a nicer time when we're on speaking terms, don't you think?

He took us out for soup and sandwiches, which was relaxed, and then we took Ruth back to school late and we came home to put away the yard tools and rest for a bit. I still had laundry to do and breakfast dishes to wash and Jacob pitched in without prompting. We made short work of the chores and then he turned and leaned on the doorframe and untied his shoes. He took them off and headed for the porch to leave them out there but then he stopped and gazed at me. His look stopped me in my tracks, it was a rare self-conscious, almost doubtful expression without a hint of Jacob's usual self-assurance.

It is better, though, isn't it? Life? Us?

Yes. So much better, Jacob.

Then trust me. Please, Bridget? Can you do that for once in your life?

I do.

No, you don't. But you should. Because I would do anything for you. And for the kids.

I know you would.

Then please, just trust me. Trust us.

I nodded, because my voice was drowned in the tears that came out of nowhere. And a new gift I've discovered: I can make him cry too. Sometimes too easily. He wiped at his eyes with his sleeve and for the first time since I met him didn't instantly regain his composure as if nothing had ever happened. He just let the rest of his tears roll down his face and he nodded back at me.

Good, then. Because you have no idea how much I love you.

I do.

No, you don't.

Are you trying to start an argument?

Maybe. We seem to resolve a lot of things when we take the gloves off.

We could resolve even more if we took our clothes off.

Can I get a raincheck on that?


At least until the kids are in bed?

Oh, I suppose that would help. Oh and Jake?

Yeah, princess?

I love you. More than you know.

Some days you have really no idea how happy I am to hear that, princess. Today is one of those days.