Wow, have we been busy. I won't say that that is the big reason for not catching up the cyber space with what I've been doing on a daily basis, but my goodness, I feel like my feet barely touch the ground at the moment.
You see, alongside the benefit of my lovely partner being home for the past month straight, has been the extra amount of baby-readying that we've been able to achieve. He's lovingly painted her room, put the cot together and moved the change table/set of drawers with groovy change space on top in to her room. We feel empowered by all of this, because aside from the paint and the wall stickers and one pair of organza curtains, we've recycled everything from Ethans babyhood. I'd kept it all, as we weren't sure of the whether-or-not we were adding to the family, so thought better to keep everything until we know that we do need it and also what we needed when we decided that decision!
So now we are at week 31/32, and only two months to go. I am going to throw myself a birthday afternoon tea two weeks before I am due as it's been a looong time since I had a birthday party and I had a baby shower when I had Ethan, so I thought I'd combine the two events. That way, just like the first time, I get to catch up with my most favourite girlfriends whom I won't have the capacity to enjoy conversation with again until probably after December. Not that I don't want to see them, but I'm guessing that after the bub has arrived, which is due November 12, then I'll see those who can make it to the hospital and within a week or two of that everyone will be involved in the Mad Dash For Christmas and all the frivolities it will entail for them. So a late October get-together with some yummy treats, coffee, wine (for the non-pregnant of course) and the likes for my closest girlfriends will be a great way to get together with everyone near and dear.
Which brings me to a new observation I've had. When I was in my early 20's, I worked with all men. I didn't much appreciate the company of women, and thought them tiring and boring. I worked with many different 'types' of men, but a man called Simon who became a very dear friend changed my world. He insisted I meet his wife. That had NEVER happened before. Most of the men I worked with whinged and moaned and complained about their wives openly at work, which in my experience (and now my little sisters', who now works in a similar all-male environment) is the way men behave when they are surrounded by all men in a blue-collar environment.
*Dear Men, sorry if this is not you, but I hope you realise you may well be just an amazing exception*
Simon and I were talking one day about god-only-knows-what when he decided I needed to meet more women, instead of just hearing about how terrible women all were from the men I was surrounded by. So I went to his house and met his lovely wife Teresa. They had two children then, now they have three. In all my life I'd never met a man who spoke so lovingly and respectfully about his wife. It was a real lesson for me - that a man could be married to a woman that he not only loved, but actually continued to respect and want to be with every moment of his life. I have no idea how long they have been together even now, but they are like newlyweds and I've known them about 10 years. They now run Teresa's business together hemphemphooray and it is just such an inspirational story that I wanted to tell you all how much of a great business they have and also what a great spiritual influence they have been on my life in the way I approach my own relationship with my partner.
It's funny, because a lot of people don't understand how men and women can be friends, but knowing Simon and now knowing another friend of mine's husband fairly well, it's quite easy to understand for me. I no longer have friendships with men like I used to, trying to be one of the boys, for instance. I now only have a few male friends, all of which are married to best girlfriends of mine that I consider amazing as couples. They are easy men to be around, not pretentious or under any illusion about their masculinity and don't seem to need to 'show' toughness or an exterior of solid steel. They are happy to be who they are, taking on the roles they know they are gifted to have and enjoy the life they lead. It has also helped me embrace who I am as a Woman. I don't Need to be one of the boys, because unfortunately for them I am something they will never be - a Woman.
But anyway, I meander away from the subject! My own partner is comfortable with who he is, but as I am, sometimes gets forlorn about certain things as his role of provider as I do with mine of homemaker. It's a confusing world, and I hope you and your family are happy and healthy and enjoying your roles within the family unit. Tell me about your lives - are you traditional, or are you not? Do you divide tasks or throw all in the ring and do it all as a team? Despite your best efforts, do you have days where you'd just like to run away with a thermos of coffee and pretend you are a ten year old runaway?!
I find couples and their dynamics amazing, and it's always inspirational to hear stories about how people make their relationships work for years and years on end, especially in a world that is so consumer-and-happiness-is-found-in-a-box driven. It would be so easy for many of us to find an 'out', and leave any day that a situation is deemed 'too hard', but there are so many of us that stay and work through things together, knowing that although today might be hard, by working together we can have a much, much better and brighter tomorrow. I also think that when we work together as man and woman, in an intimite relationship like that, we find out so much about both ourselves and our partner. It's not judgement either, but an intimate knowledge of the capabilities of each of us and how those abilities can be used from either side to benefit both. I hope you and yours are having productive times during this spring season, and that even in the runaway times you manage to pack a thermos for two!