Around 8am this morning, I received the following cryptic text message from my wife:
Cone? Had I agreed the previous night to buy a traffic cone first thing in the morning? Was the text intended for someone else? Maybe she was having a discussion with a friend about the shape of Madonna’s bras or the best way to extract ear wax.
Fortunately, I knew exactly what this text meant. Having only one good eye, due to conjunctivitus, her depth perception is off, which caused her to press the “n” instead of the “m” on her phone. While “Come” is still an aggressive command, one normally used when training an animal, she had Arlo in bed with her and one eye sealed shut, so I yelled, “OK, I’m coning!”
Silas and I were already awake and in the living room watching Super Friends when I was summoned to fetch my younger child before a crusted flake from his mother’s eye infected him. Normally, she might encourage him to play with her while she gets ready. But now, with the added duty of un-fusing her eyelid, responding politely fifteen times to a 2 year-old showing her how good he is at peeing isn’t something she can multitask.
I opened the door to the bedroom where I found Arlo bright-eyed and smiling; ready for me to scoop him up and tackle the day. Lindsay, as you might imagine, was exhausted and winking. “Take him. I need to clean my eye.” She didn’t have the energy to sugar coat it. There was no, “If you could take him for a moment, I need to do something in the bathroom,” just a gruff, “Get this kid outta here, Mama’s gotta pry her eye open.”
When a couple dreams about having children, the images include rocking a baby to sleep, or watching a toddler take her first wobbly steps. They never fantasize about the real moments of family life, like picking up a child while making sure his foot doesn’t graze your wife’s goop-eye. Sometimes love is so beautifully pathetic.