After almost two weeks of being so sick it feels like some kind of overly dramatic, wretched, eternal agony; I feel as though I’m aching for warmth. A half–drowned kitten calling for its mother.
“Please come,” I beg The Most Amazing Man In The Universe. “Please, please, please… I need you”.
And, because he’s amazing, he does come– a mercy dash 800 km’s across the country to cuddle and sook his crying, whinging girlfriend. He goes grocery shopping for me. Tidies my house. Fixes me food and makes me hot tea. And, bless him, The Most Amazing Man In The Universe stays with me- and my children- for almost a whole week.
The first few days are like an undignified baptism by fire.
I’d underestimated how very difficult this was going to be.
My children are feral. Not one hundred percent well themselves, with the weather just drizzling enough to keep them inside; they scream and fight and bicker. They’re rude to me, to The Most Amazing Man, to each other. They argue in a way I’ve never seen before. And I drown, helplessly, trying to figure out what the f*ck is going on here and how in God’s name I can fix this. My children are not used to sharing me. The Most Amazing Man in the Universe is not used to sharing a house with kids and cats and a bird and the slightly confused, chaotic, always–running–lateness of it all.
Let’s call it an extreme learning curve. For everyone involved.
I am used to the company, demands and presence of small children, The Most Amazing Man is not. I remember with some kind of horror how long it took me to get used to it myself. How badly shaken I was realising, after my son was born, that this was life now– my time was not my own. I may never sleep again in stretches of longer than a few hours. I remember the somewhat soul-sucking depletion that suddenly sharing space with small, noisy little beings enforces on you.
And I know it stresses him out, my Amazing Man who’s so calm and quiet and appealingly zen. Liking kids is one thing… getting a brief glimpse into what life would actually be like living with them must be completely and terrifyingly different.
I wait for him to run, to leave, to take the freedom I have lost and do what I can only in my most unacceptable, secret fantasies. How could I hold that against him, when reality speaks for itself– the unencumbered lifestyle of someone without kids, without responsibilities like this.
But, because he is Amazing… he doesn’t run. He doesn’t leave. He doesn’t go anywhere. He loves me still…more, perhaps. My children decide to actually behave themselves for twenty four blissful hours before The Most Amazing Man In The universe is due to fly away.
“I promise, this is what it’s usually like… it’s pleasant” Chaotic, still, but I think The Most Amazing Man knows that already. I want what I’ve said to be true, and he looks like he wants to believe me.
He leaves, and the house feels empty without him.
The cats miss him, desperately. And so do I. But it’s nice to miss someone, and know they’ll come back again. It’s nice to know that he’s missing me, too.