"Stay Interesting and Interested"
Right now, I'm trying to stay interested in Jacob's enthusiasm for tiny houses. He was on a kick about a year ago and recently got back onto it. I can't say I encourage him very much because how do you encourage something like this? I'm pretty sure we graduated from tiny house potential as soon as we started having kids. I mean, currently, we have five people living in an 1100 sq. ft house. Per person, we're basically on par with the tiny housers.
For all I tease him about it, I find them pretty interesting, these quirky little buildings with all their nooks and hooks and crannies.
But were he ever to drive home with a double axle trailer and tell me he was going to build a house, scratch that OUR house, on it...well...I mean for him to do that I would not only have to be on board, I would have to be on duty.
Especially now that we have kids, staying interested in each others' hobbies is a lot more effortful than just an occasional "how nice" - being interested often means enabling the other person, we have to help each other stay interesting.
I'm the type that is a huge cheerleader for Jacob to follow some passion, but when he actually starts in on it I feel abandoned and overwhelmed, and bitterness mounts because I can't beLIEVE he's out there PLAYing when there are bedtimes to routine and diapers to change!
Interested is when I let him pursue a passion even when it feels inconvenient to me.
Interested is when my husband is outside with his tools finishing what I'm sure is a very pressing project, while I scramble through the end of dinner prep with two hungry people clutching at my calves.
Interested is when he comes in for dinner and proudly presents me with...a cherrywood muddler, and I suppress the lip-pursing, eyebrow-raising "THIS is how you've spent your last half hour?" face. Or half-suppress it...or perhaps I just own the snark completely while taking the muddler from him and making cocktails.
Sometimes I have to be more of a mom so he can be something other than a dad for a little while.
Sometimes I have to be more of a mom so our children can watch their dad be a carpenter. So I can watch him too.
I have my interests too. Things I pursue, that make me a happier and hopefully better person. He's interested in those things with me.
And often his interest surfaces around seven in the morning, when I'm nursing my sacred morning coffee as he takes the toddler to the bathroom and tends to the baby who's started to squawk, and he says too loudly: "I'm coming, Lucy June. Papa loves you MORE than his computer." And then to me "I'm just gonna change a diaper here, honey, if that's OK with you."
"Go for it!" I say. He would welcome help, but he mostly just wants me to remember all that he is juggling so I can play like I'm a blogger for a few more minutes.