In My Place

There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.

~ Edith Wharton

After nearly eighteen years of marriage and four children, my wife and I have learned to let a lot of things slide.

Take falling down.

If we had a nickel for every time someone in our brood has fallen down, we’d be able to afford a night out at Steak & Shake. Maybe even Applebee’s. It’s generally not a big deal. You fall? You get up. Brush off the dirt and move on.

So yesterday morning, when my wife took a tumble backwards off her gardening shovel onto the driveway, I glanced up from my spot on the porch where I was reading blogs and doing some Facebooking, noticed she wasn’t bleeding, asked her if she was ok, and when she didn’t scream or appear to be crying, I went back to browsing.

Only she wasn’t really ok. My youngest son, having seen her tumble, came running over to help her up. He then walked up to me and said, with a hint of a tear in his eye, “You know, you should go to your wife when she’s hurting.”

He’s nine.

And I’m an idiot. Please, let me have it . . . I deserve it.

[photo credit]


26 thoughts on “In My Place

  1. Well, at least you asked her if she was OK. That’s got to count for something, right? Don’t beat yourself up about it. Your son is sweet and he, no doubt, learned that from you.

  2. One time my husband and I were having a heated “discussion” in the car about who knows what. Most likely directions, or lack there of. From the backseat my two year old screams “Stop Daddy, Stop!”. Immediately we both started cracking up. It’s very possible that I started the “discussion” too. Funny thing is that we have NO idea where he even got that from? It’s not like my husband and I ever argue that much and especially not in front of him. Too funny!

    Isn’t it amazing how/where kids pick stuff up?!?!

  3. Single for a reason, reason #5033: after a loud bang is heard, they yell “Are you alright?” from the couch and keep flipping channels but do not investigate.

    Hey, remember…you asked for this. Besides, others will give you sweetness and caution to not beat yourself up.

    I think you should beat yourself up and arynsmom. How in hell do you fall off a garden shovel? A porch, I get how you fall off..But, a garden shovel? Did you mean a front loader?

    1. I did investigate! I took a glance and saw no bones protruding, saw no tears, saw no blood . . . alright, I didn’t really investigate. I offer no excuses . . . sometimes, I’m heartless. I thought about this as I wrote this post. Usually, I would look at the situation from many different angles and offer my take on things. In this case, the angle from the vantage point of my son is the only one that matters . . . he saw his mom was hurt, and watched me lift nary a finger to aid her.

      Regarding the shovel? She was bouncing up and down on the edge of it, trying to penetrate this Indiana clay we live upon. Lesson learned x2 . . .

      1. Someone’s got to dig up the new flower beds. Since I wanted to new beds, and I figured that if I waited for HIM to dig them, I’d be waiting til I was 87, I decided to do them myself. My Mom and Dad didn’t raise a child that was afraid of a little physical labor to get the look and gardens you want!

  4. Oooooooh, yikes! I can only assume your wife is not holding a grudge, because she doesn’t seem like the sort. But the kid…. Why do they do that, get all wise at the very worst times?

    1. Nah. She’s got a sore butt, but that’s it. No hard feelings toward me . . . none that she’s expressing anyway.

      Kids are smart. They know when a line has been crossed. We had a great discussion as a result of this whole debacle, so I guess there’s that . . .

  5. blogging/facebook vs spousal safety?? hmmmm.. .i’ll get back to you…

    1. I was reading YOUR blog. I think. Yeah, it was yours. So, it’s all your fault . . . yeah . . . I’m going with that . . .

  6. What the hell!! How could you?….How do you?….

    Get your wife to do yardwork!!

    I was cleaning out and pruning the rose bushes this afternoon and Zoe was helping me. After about 30 minutes she stopped and said, “Don’t women usually do the gardening stuff?” To which I responded, “Zoe, when have you ever seen you mother work in the yard?”

    Her answer—“Uhm…never.”

  7. I’m with Ed!! How’d you swing that deal?

    If this were our situation, you’d find Dede lounging on the Veranda swing and, upon watching me tumble off the ladder while trimming the tree, you’d hear her briefly pause, waft some rhetorical question about my health, and then ponder why men do such silly things.

    Somehow I can be clearly seen trying to wrestle some 412 lb box through the front door, and yet the notion never, ever surfaces, “Hey, maybe the big galloot needs a hand.” Yet, I’m some kinda throwback, male chauvinist, lazy bum if I’m not swooping in, arms prepped & open wide to help unload a few sacks from the back of the car after a shopping safari.

    I’m tellin’ ya, nice guys do finish last. But at least we make our less-nice buddies look supremely bad in front of their wives! And then next thing ya know, your pal Jimbo is up on the ladder in HIS backyard…

    1. In His defense – I do this stuff because I actually like to do it. Well not the falling down part, but the rest of it is actually something I don’t mind doing! And honestly I don’t think he’s done any sort of gardening in his LIFE so if I want it done, I have to be the one to do it. Now he does mow the lawn from time to time and does take care NOT to mow over things that shouldn’t be mowed over.

  8. I only fully pay attention if Hellbilly is bleeding (very heavily), unable to walk (limping does not count) or knocked smooth out. Otherwise? All is well in Mongoliangirl-land.

  9. I need to buy you a beer. You just made me feel sooooo much better. With all these new “in touch with their feelings” men out here, I thought I may be a dying breed. 😉

  10. Yeah, you’re an idiot.


    No, I know what you mean. You let some things slide past, figure that it can’t possibly be THAT bad.

    Hope she’s OK.

  11. The woman who walked in the door after 7pm last night and basically did what she pleased while her husband handled the before-bedtime craziness and the extended bedtime routine isn’t saying a word…

  12. I love the way your son said “your wife.” Ouch.

  13. I would probably have gone out there, asked if she fell, and then started laughing.

    Come on, people falling is damn near always funny.

    1. Um . . . don’t tell my wife, but yeah, it was quite comical. All that flailing . . .

  14. Ohhh, ouch. The children, they are our mirrors, are they not? Oh, honey.

  15. Distraction is the bane of marriage and yet it does happen.

  16. Sounds to me like you’ve beat up yourself enough already. Not to mention, I don’t think any of us could really say anything. We’re all guilty of being a tad self-absorbed sometimes. We take things for granted like, you were sure she was fine. Otherwise you’d have been at her side in an instant! I don’t even know you, yet I know that about you.

  17. oh dear. This is what facebook has brought us to. I say that because I know full well myself. Envious of the porch, btw. The last time I sat on one, as a child, the internet didn’t exist.

  18. Great post mate!!! Very moving!!!

    My first thought was I would of laughed when I saw her go @@@@ over @@@!!! In Australia we seem to do that a lot, esp if someone takes it in the goolies “for the team”!!!!

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