Ashley and I have been mad at each other the last few days. It’s the same issues, we both know them well, but sometimes you just need to cool off for a while before you’re ready to act like a mature adult again (and speak, in our case). It’s not that she’s out to be such a menacing partner, after all. Neither am I. But new parents are allowed to need some figuring out as they go, right?
Anyways, we are reconciled as of this afternoon and it’s very nice. The silent treatments have gotten much shorter than they used to be. The pitiful thing is that we’ve had this same fight so many times that I don’t even know why we get mad anymore. Once, a few days ago, it flared up. I went the grocery, got over it, and came back with her favorite salad from the Co op. She’d written me a note while I was gone to make up too. Utter fury, solved in minutes. But buddy, years ago we could go for weeks and then slug it out for days.
Then it re arrises.
This time we probably went a day and a half in silence. Even with Addair teething and screaming all night. We were both up, trying to do everything possible for him, still not speaking to each other. Administering infant tylenol with a dropper as he drooled it out and we wiped his chin and let him suck our fingers.
“Swallow, kid. Stop being silly. We’re mad at each other here.”
All better today. I could get into the specifics but it’s not very important, and probably very typical and predictable of young parents learning new roles. Truly, I should say we are very self absorbed people who go along with their own flow too much for the whims of an infant. But who doesn’t go through that?
Anyways, I’m just glad I could set Ashley straight this afternoon and get on with my evening (joking). She’s up in the bed like most nights, nursing little Tuck to sleep. This usually starts at around 7 pm and more or less lasts all night in 2-4 hour cycles. She gets very little done during the day and needs a break when I get home. I’m sweaty and covered in paint, very tired and hungry. Also in distress because I remember that I started painting because it left me flexible to play music whenever. But I can’t remember half my songs, my fingers are sloppy from never running their scales, and I’m just too dang whipped.
None of this is easy stuff. Everybody has this stuff, I know that. I had a good chat with my father in law about it once. I asked Glen, who was a professional Motocross racer at the time Ashley was born,
“What were you feeling when you started working in the mines and not racing anymore?”
“I was just glad to be working for my little baby girl. Know what I mean?”
Yes I do. This is the biggest transition of my life, but I feel okay. We’re doing good. My little guy makes me happier than I can put into words. I’d do whatever I have to do and it’s fine by me. Struggling as a musician is a whole another bag, which continues to run it’s course, but I’m more concerned with security right now. Maybe when Addair is few years older he can be my drummer and we can struggle some more.
I have some history with seeking security and then ditching it. We started out that way, a reckless romance and young marriage. Then, my becoming the young providing husband until a brash run to Nashville (in a last minute attempt to save the marriage). And after a year of bust (one of our best), I went back to the desk job and Ashley back to college. And in another three years we dropped it all again (career, masters program, house, car) for New York City. A bigger bust. And then followed three years of dire scramble (again some of our best). It was pure, idealistic hard-headedness. Now that we have a family I’m back to security. And rightly so.
In a couple weeks we’ll celebrate 8 years of working it out. Ashley is lucky to have me. She could have married rich, but her art would have sucked.