Saturday, May 25, 2013

I'm a Feminist Who Serves My Husband (Occasionally)

Act #145:  In a marriage, separate is sometimes equal.

Every Monday and Friday morning, I meticulously pack three different lunches - one for my 5-year old son, one for my husband, and one for myself.  I make sure that the finicky kindergartner, the hearty carnivore, and the pescatarian (I eat fish occasionally) have well-balanced, nutritious mid-day fuel.  I specifically do so on these particular days, because my husband uses his lunch break to pick up our son from school to allow my mom (who usually picks him up) to take my disabled dad to physical therapy.  I never thought a thing about this until yesterday when our son declared, "Mama, you should let daddy pack his own lunch.  He's a grown-up!"  For a second, I panicked.  He's right.  What kind of outdated, patriarchal, 50's housewife example am I setting for my son by completing this task for a perfectly capable grown man?  Yeah, he should fix his own lunch.  And while he's at it, why shouldn't he fix mine too?  But I knew better.  So I shared the following with my son. 

In order to carve out time for mom to blog in the mornings, did you know that dad single-handedly helps you get dressed and brush your teeth?  Believe it or not, you require quite a bit of attention in the mornings.  He also feeds and walks the dog, toasts your waffle for breakfast, and takes out the garbage on trash days.  That's what being in a partnership is all about.  You help each other out.

I won't lie.  I secretly high-fived myself, happy that my son questioned this - more so because he had no contrived expectations for me to fill this particular role.  But deep down inside, I felt lucky to have a life partner who so willingly and happily shares with me the daily tasks required to keep our lives meaningful and full.  And who regularly does a million little things, that often go unnoticed, in order to make it possible for me to do the bigger things - like write a daily blog, volunteer in my community, advocate fiercely for things in which I believe.  Come to think of it, he's probably the one getting the short end of the stick.  While I may occasionally feed his stomach, this man indeed, helps feed my soul.

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