It’s been pretty dark around here lately. I’m going to try to correct course and steer towards the light with this one…
If I’m being brutally honest with myself, I’d have to admit that my husband and I are really pretty lousy at communicating with each other. Here’s a case in point:
With three kids playing soccer, we go through shin guards like they’re going out of style. It got to the point where we were down to one mismatched pair that one kid would wear and then hand off to the next kid, who would strap on the steaming hot, moist shin guards to wear for another sweaty, stinky hour of hard soccer-playing. This went on for weeks, but neither Colin nor I could muster the will to do anything about it.
A few Saturdays ago, we went straight from the soccer field after the last game of the day up to Arlington to visit my parents. We all suffered through a long two and a half hour drive with wavy fume lines rising from those poor, overused shin guards. It’s a miracle that we didn’t all pass out. The second we arrived, the car doors flew open and we all hurled ourselves out of the minivan as if it were on fire. I held the offending shin guards with thumb and forefinger at arms’ length and flung them out onto the screened in porch at the back of the house to air. Of course, I forgot all about them when we left the next day.
Obviously, it was time to face the music. I went to the soccer store during my lunch hour the next day and bought five pairs of shin guards. I joked to the cashier that I hoped they might last through this season. She smiled sympathetically and said, “Yeah, a father was just in here earlier today, doing the exact same thing. He bought extra pairs to keep handy in the car.”
Have you guessed it? Yes. That was my husband. Anybody need two or three or nine pairs of shin guards?
This could all so easily have been avoided had we taken the time to send each other a quick email. With our busy schedules, we do a lot of our communicating by email these days. Most of the emails revolve around the complicated choreography that takes place on a daily basis to make sure our three kids, (ages 12, 10, and 7) get to their soccer practices, music lessons, play dates, or whatever else happens to be on tap that day. A couple mornings ago as I was leaving the house, Colin was trying to explain to me where I should go to see him moderate a debate for the ten free minutes I would have after a committee meeting I had to attend and before a talk I had to give. “Just email me!” I called back to him as I rushed out the door in what was ultimately a fruitless bid to get two out of the three kids to school on time.
While these little, but necessary informational exchanges form the bulk of our communication via email, sometimes more important information gets relayed electronically as well.
Here, for example, was the information I sent to Colin by email just a few days ago:
(Subject line): I forgot to tell you…
(Text of message): Nicholas wants to take a gap year to join a commune.
After this week of sadness and turmoil…I’m thinking maybe we’ll just all join him there. Hope your weekend is wonderful. Peace out.