just like all normal people, we bumble along, tentatively, honestly, with our hearts on our sleeve and our head in our hands. We are dancing our way through a patch; a patch of uncertainty, of newness, of unchartered waters. Yes we had a great holiday, a wonderful relaxing holiday, but reality bites as soon as we returned. It had been there before we departed; a sore, an itch, an unresolved nip. How does a 53 year old (retired since he was 38 year old) man reconcile his past freedoms as a well-off entrepreneur and property owner with time to himself and money to burn, with his current reality as a stay home dad, homemaker to five and 'ships cook and concubine' to a working academic.
Well, apparently he doesnt. Well he does and he doesnt, and he does and he doesnt. As a life long feminist with feminist/marxist parents, grandparents and great grand parents and parents before them, I use all the empathy i have to manouver us through the ultimately feminist/patriarchial issues i now see my male beloved struggling with.
Issues he never thought he would face ( how could he as a priviledged male of the upper middle classes?) but issues i knew he ultimately would face through the sheer nature of the job, but thought it best he reconcile them for himself when the time came. Our time has come. We had a very beautiful conversation this evening where he opened himself right up, confronted his weaknesess, his foibles, his limitaions, his maleness. He struggled, cried, mourned and asked for comfort. He confronted for himself all the feminist issues of drudgery, boredom, repetition amd emotional exhaustion that women have traditionally faced. I cannot tell you how pleasurable it was (after a day or so of pissed-offness), exquisitely beautiful in all the right ways, to use all my knowledge and experience as a mother and a woman to comfort the man i love in dealing with his feelings of inadequacy, distress and insecurity about being the primary care giver to our beautiful boy. I do understand. To reassure him that he was doing a fine job despite his perceptions about being ill equipped to do it. To have him appreciate and need my warmth, reflection, humility and empathy was priceless. Its a struggle sometimes, we went through days of uncertainty, but the other side is glorious.