ED: The following is amateur cellphone footage of the sounds we heard last night at 5:30 in the morning. The kids miraculously slept through the end of the world because of course... and then Hal insisted I wake them so they didn't die in a house fire/flood/explosion. (The sound is actually gravel falling from our attic. We have a mysterious amount of it up there for reasons we don't know/understand.)
"WE'RE ALL GOING TO DIE! WE MUST EVACUATE!"
"IT'S JUST AN ANIMAL!"
"YOU WANT OUR CHILDREN TO DIE!"
"NO I JUST WANT THEM TO NEVER WAKE UP... WHEN IT'S NOT DAYLIGHT!"
This is Hal in a crisis: AHHAAJSDHAKJHDKJSAGDHJASGFJHASF
Meanwhile, I'm like "it's all good," as I inhale a giant bongload. JK. But also kind of not JK because I am seemingly unrattled by things that... well, rattle...
Unless I haven't slept... in which case I become hysterical and just cry pretty much non-stop for absolutely no reason because, well, all is lost. I was this way when the twins were born and have spent the last few days running (walking? crawling) on the fumes of two-three hours of sleep per night. Hal has too but he seems to be much better at it than I am. (He has to be at work at 6:30 in the morning and still goes to bed at 12:30 every night. If I was him I would be sobbing in the morning meetings. A tear just fell down my cheek as I typed that.)
All of this to say that on Sunday night, when I awoke at 1am to the sounds of... cartoons? on blast in the living room? I was already yelling the word "fuck" 787987917238 times as I stumbled down the hallway toward Bo and Revi, who sat side by side, under a blanket watching Bubble Guppies.
"We got out," was Bo's explanation.
"You got out?"
"Dis da Guppies." Revi chimed in.
"IT'S ONE IN THE MORNING THIS IS NOT THE TIME WHAT IN THE EFFING EFF!?"
And then I carried them kicking and screaming down the hall and back into their cribs.
About twenty minutes later, they reemerged and pat pat pat patpatpat down the hall went four little feet.
This went on all night. Literally. Hal left for work at 6:00am and found me asleep outside the twins' door, a human blockade.
"Today I'm going to buy a lock," I said before bursting into tears.
This, of course, is the shortened version. I will omit the part where Hal woke up offering to help two hours into the debacle and me being like "YOU'RE TOO LATE I AM ALL ALONE IN THIS WORLD AND A MARTYR YOU'RE THE WORST GO AWAY FOREVER."
Today, Hal and I celebrate our 9th wedding anniversary and I had big plans to write all about what marriage looks like after nine years, in sickness and health, till death do you part... but I'm going to be honest. This morning I do not have the wherewithal to wax poetic about marital bliss and that's because we have rats in the walls and nobody sleeps here anymore.If today was a movie, would it be a tragedy or a comedy?
This a question I continually ask myself. This is a very easy test to take in order to differentiate between real problems and real life, real love...
This? Today? This is a comedy.
The rats in the walls and the cartoons at 1am and falling asleep outside Bo and Revi's door and watching movies on opposite ends of the couch and the hugging in the shower and the laughing in the museum and phones that die in the middle of important text messages...
About money woes.
And needing more milk.
And being home in time for the plumber.
And trying to get a babysitter.
And motherfucking rats.
"And I just want you to know that --"
"-- I'm sorry, too."
It isn't a lame-ass rom-com starring Katherine Heigl, either. It's one of the good ones. Old Woody Allen meets Nora Ephron with a splash of Judd Apatow... where nobody knows if the couple is going to end up together in the end because the characters are actual shitting, farting, human beings who don't wake up with lipstick on.
"Does this feel like the beginning to you?"
"Some days. Other days it feels like the end. I think that's the point, no?"
Sometimes it feels like we're in the first act. Like there are miles to go and this is only the beginning. Our first decade together...
And then there are days when the walls feel like they're caving in on us and we have to get the hell out to save ourselves the end.
And that's okay.
"This is what we have to do right now."
"This is how we make it work right now."
We listen to the walls and we sleep against the doors and wake up at different times...
This is acceptance.
And I love him. I mean, sometimes I hate him but I love him, too. I feel the same way on zero sleep when the twins are eating ice cream out of the freezer at 6am or the dog poops on the sidewalk instead of the grass. That's how I know I'm a human being. That's how I know I'm with the man I love... the swirl of emotions and how at the end, when the dust settles, we are laughing in the shower.
pottery and willow. Pottery makes sense to me because it's as strong as it easy to break... That's marriage, isn't it? A pot, when used correctly, is going to break sometimes. And, Willow... well, Willard feels more accurate at the moment.
And that's okay.
For us, this is what nine years of marriage looks like.
Marriage is about going back and forth between wanting more and knowing that THIS RIGHT HERE IS EVERYTHING.
Marriage is about holding on and letting go.
Nine years ago, our vows to each other were these: Let's choose to be together for as long as we choose to be together. And every day, no matter the challenge we have chosen this:
Surrounded by children and music (and, yes, rats, too) in an overlap that belongs to us alone, and for nine wonderful/exhausting/life-affirming/disastrous/unbelievable/confusing/inspired years we've watched it swell like the wave we ride together with pruned fingers and full hearts.
*I wasn't writing about Hal really at all when I first started GGC. He was pretty much off limits in those days and I'm incredibly grateful that that is no longer the case. (Hal, you are my one.)