There was a time when I did it all.
I had the babies. I fed the babies (all. night. long). I raised the babies. I took the babies to the park. The babies grew to be toddlers. I took the toddlers to the library. The toddlers hated the library. I took the toddlers home. The toddlers grew into kids. The kids got sick. I took the kids to the doctor. I held back the kids’ hair when they were ill. We bought a farm. I fed the animals. I buried the ones that died. I homeschooled the school aged kid. It was hard. The other two kids cried. A lot.
My husband was at work that day. And the next day. Gun and badge on, kiss out the door. Gun and badge off, kiss at bedtime. Phone call at 2am. Gun and badge on. Bulletproof vest on. No contact for twenty four hours. Husband comes home, case closed. Goes to sleep at 8am. Kid is crying in the next room. Phone rings again. Gun and badge on.
There was a time when life changed.
The kids were all school aged. They began to help. Animals stopped dying. The phone stopped ringing. Gun and badge off. His eyes are blue. He likes my honest laugh. The kids play outside with the puppy. We still like the same movies and music. He holds my hand. I don’t see dark like I used to. We watch the sunset over the mountains. We are building our home.
The phone rings. Gun and badge on. Five days away from home.
We are used to this, I tell myself. We are used to being flexible. I am used to doing it alone. The dog destroys the couch. The kids are angry. They fight. I get sick. So sick. I cannot leave the bed. The oldest child feeds the other two supper. Phone rings. He calls to check on me and misses us. The laundry piles up. The dog pees on the floor. The bathroom needs to be cleaned. Instagram thinks I am dead.
There was I time when I did it all. There was a time when life changed.
His flight lands. He drives home. He hugs the kids. They are no longer crying. He brings me a necklace. He starts the laundry, he cooks supper. He brings me a cold drink. He touches my forehead. He bathes the kids. He wipes down the sink. He folds the laundry. He cleans up after the puppy. He empties the dishwasher. He mows the lawn. He feeds the goats. He checks on me again. I am well. We talk about the summer garden. One of the kids gets sick.