My husband and I are partners in every way. Well, except for banking—I “chequed” out of all the financial stuff years ago. Though I feign interest, he and I both know I’m thinking about Mad Men or what might be happening on Facebook while he’s explaining our bank statements.
But that’s okay because I am in charge of other important things—like groceries. Somebody has to menu plan and use coupons. It bores him to tears, so I do it.
Like I said, partners — each with specific roles and duties, like a well-oiled machine. Speaking of which, he deals with all things automotive, while I take care of the laundry. He’s actually banned from touching the dryer. The man has shrunk one too many pairs of my yoga pants.
When it comes to parenting, we share duties equally. Sometimes we employ the “good cop, bad cop” routine. I’m always the good cop because I can’t stomach the bad cop shtick.When Avery was first diagnosed and we got a glimpse of what we might be dealing with, we realized that one parent would need to stay home full-time. We both knew it would be me. Not that my husband didn’t offer.
Since I’m the stay-at-home parent, I’ve taken on the medical appointments, therapies, specialists, etc. There are some days when Adrian will say, “How was speech today?” only to be informed that speech was last week. It was an orthotics adjustment today. We have so many appointments in a given month, unless you’re there living it, it’s hard to keep track.
I’ve gotten into a groove though. I can drive to Sick Kids with my eyes closed (though I don’t, I swear), find parking, hop from appointment to appointment, speak medical-ese, dose meds, all of it, on my own. I don’t need help.
I can handle it on my own. Until I can’t.
A few weeks ago I was sick. Unbeknownst to me, I had a nasty case of Strep Throat. I woke up running a fever and felt horrible. Avery had an important cardiac test that day across the city that she couldn’t miss.
My husband offered to take the day off work to bring her. I panicked. I knew he had to do it, but would he be able to handle it? Would I? Not being there, I mean.
He brought her to the appointment and arrived on time (despite my shoddy directions). He asked the right questions and came home with the relevant information.
Afterwards, instead of dropping her off at home and possibly heading into work, he took his girl out for lunch. Just daddy and daughter. Then they went to the park by the lake to walk hand and hand looking at the ducks, spending quality time together, with plenty of playful silliness thrown in.
I wasn’t able to be there, but it was okay. Better than okay. Avery’s dad got a chance to live our routine for a day. That’s important — to switch up our roles and walk in each others shoes. It gives us a chance to appreciate what the other does and it brings us closer.
Does this mean I’ll start paying closer attention when my husband talks about interest rates and mortgage payments? Er, probably not. But maybe I’ll learn how to change the window washer fluid in the van. That’s a good start, right?