Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Yes, I Still Love the Man and all Those Kids

Last week when I was doing that lucrative, exciting job I have called subbing, I had an interesting conversation with a mother that came to help in the classroom. 

Of course this converesation took place between snippets of other conversations with kindergartners that went like this:

Kevin, get those scissors out of your mouth.


Kevin, put your shirt back on.


Teacher, Delia says I have a girl cousin and I don't.


Teacher, Delia says she knows karate, and she doesn't.

And it took place between activities like

tracing letters,

pin art,

the alphabet song

and coloring cherry trees because it was the Thursday before President's Day and they were learning that George Washington cut one down and didn't lie about it which is all a big lie. . .

Remind me again why anyone needs a degree to teach kindergarten?  Oh yeah, because the government won't let you teach unless you have one.

Anywhoo this story is not about kindergarten and pencils up noses and and imaginery girl cousins, and public education, it is about love and motherhood.  

While I was making sure nobody imbibed glue while attaching cherries to their trees, the mother helper asked me how many children I had.  Her jaw dropped when I said 7.  Her next question was, are they all yours?  More jaw dropping.  I answered her next question before she asked it.  "Yes, I'm crazy," I said, "and I'd do it all again."

Her next question surprised me.  "And," she said, "do you still love your husband?"

"Yes," I replied with no hesitation.

She touched my arm, looked into my eyes and said, "Really? You really love your husband after all those years and kids."

Yes, yes, yes, yes, I love my husband after all those years.  I love my husband because of all those years.  I love my husband in spite of all those kids.  I love my husband because of all those kids.

I love the movie Yours, Mine and Ours.  It's about a widow and widower who get married and have 18 children between them.  The following scene takes place as the husband Frank is leaving the house to take his wife Helen to the hospital to have "their" baby which will be child number 19.  Helen's oldest daughter Colleen has just had her boyfriend chased out of the house by one of her step-brothers for making inapprorpriate advances towards her.  Colleen is thinking maybe she's being childish not to give into her boyfriend's demands.

Colleen North: [Helen is about to have a baby] I know this is a terrible time to talk about it, but Larry says...
Frank Beardsley: I've got a message for Larry. You tell him this is what it's all about. This is the real happening. If you want to know what love really is, take a look around you.
Helen North: What are you two talking about?
Frank Beardsley: Take a good look at your mother.
Helen North: Not now!
Frank Beardsley: Yes, now.
[to Colleen]
Frank Beardsley: It's giving life that counts. Until you're ready for it, all the rest is just a big fraud. All the crazy haircuts in the world won't keep it turning. (Yes this is a 60's movie.) Life isn't a love in, it's the dishes and the orthodontist and the shoe repairman and... ground round instead of roast beef. And I'll tell you something else: it isn't going to a bed with a man that proves you're in love with him; it's getting up in the morning and facing the drab, miserable, wonderful everyday world with him that counts.
[Leaving the house, they say good-bye to the little kids]
Frank Beardsley: I suppose having 19 kids is carrying it a bit too far, but if we had it to do over who would we skip... you?
Helen North: [getting into the car] Thank you, Frank. I never quite knew how to explain it to her.
Frank Beardsley: If we don't get you to the hospital fast, the rest of it's going to be explained right here!
Love isn't something you fall into, and it's not something that grows on you with little or no effort like a fungus or a mold. It's something that you're committed to day after day, bill after bill, kid after kid.
So yes I'm crazy--CRAZY IN LOVE with my husband!

I so should have written this post on Valentine's Day. 

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