Thursday, September 19, 2013

Somethings just make sense and one of those is you and I...

For a short period in my early twenties, I engaged in a brief, but serious, relationship with a man who was about 6 years older than me.  I ignored the fact that we were completely wrong for each other while we spent our every waking moment together for about 5 months.  One night, we were hanging out in his apartment and I somehow managed to knock a glass of water and it broke all over his wood floors.  Thinking it was no big deal, I ran to get towels and a broom to clean it up and when I got back I could see that he was visibly pissed.  Evidently, the glass came from a bar in a city he once lived in.  The bar and the glass and the city had a significance that I could not, would not understand and he was really disappointed in me for breaking it and acting like it was no big deal.  (Looking back, I realize he often had this way of making me feel like I was an idiotic teenager rather than an intelligent adult with a college education.)

As it turns out, this particular bar had closed and there was actually no way of replacing this glass that I had (carelessly) broken.  I apologized profusely for breaking the glass (I'm a pretty sentimental person so I understood his feelings, even though he was being sort of a D about it) and even offered to try to do some research to see if I could replace it.

However, the damage was done (not just to the glass - to our relationship, in general - when I really think about it) and that night I went home feeling pretty crummy emotionally, but also noticing that I had a shooting pain on the bottom of my heel every time I stepped on it.

I was positive I had a shard of glass in my foot.  I looked and looked but I could never turn my foot over all the way enough to see it and I just assumed that it was a weird coincidence and that the pain would go away eventually.  I walked on it like that for almost a week, but could never see for sure if there was a splinter of glass in my foot.  On my way to a long shift at the bookstore I was working for at the time, I stopped to get a pedicure.  When she used the pumice over my affected heel, it caught the supposed splinter of glass and pushed it up into my heel. (I've given birth and I'm still sure this is in the top 5 most painful things I've ever had happen to me).  I yelped in pain and asked the woman (who didn't speak a word outside of her functional English) if she could see anything.  She responded, "It tickle?  I stop."

I proceeded to work a long closing shift at the bookstore and then headed straight for my boyfriend's house where I limped in, stripped off my shoe and sock, handed him a pair of tweezers, and said "There is a splinter in my foot from the glass I broke here last week and I need you to get it out."  I will never forget how annoyed and put off he was put by the thought of pulling a piece of glass out of my foot.  And I realized, it wasn't really because of what I was asking him to do - it was because he was still mad about that damn glass.

He did help me that night.  After rolling his eyes and generally acting very annoyed, he unsympathetically wielded the tweezers, confirmed he could see a piece of glass, and was able to work it out enough that I could eventually see it and pull it out myself.  My foot throbbed for awhile after that (I mean, I walked with this thing jabbing me in the heel for almost a week) and yet he was still being quite cold to me about how badly it hurt because, in his own (joking...ish) words, I "kind of deserved it for breaking the glass."

The relationship ended for good not long after that and though it truly broke my heart at the time, I eventually learned that life goes on (and did so in the arms of the man who would eventually become my husband.)

I share this (non sequitur) story here, because tonight, I sat at the kitchen table while my husband painstakingly worked a small splinter out of our son's palm.  He used a needle with the precision of a surgeon, all the while reassuring The Incredible Hulk (who winced and whimpered through the whole procedure) that he would be okay. While I rubbed TIH's back and marveled over my husband's steady hands, I looked over my son's head at him and said a silent prayer of thanks for that night back in 2006 where I learned I was really never going to get what I needed out of that relationship.

I now know that I needed the person I chose to share my life with to be the nurturing type.  The type that can kiss a "boo boo" and be reassuring and show compassion even for the most "deserved" trips and tumbles.  And I'm pinching myself now to think I was lucky enough to find it.

Tonight, in a little boy's palm, I glimpsed the long future of parenting I have ahead of me with the man of my dreams - and it's looking very bright.

Photo credit: Stephanie Rosser

1 comment:

  1. My husband is the same way. I am so glad he cherishes my heart and is a great father as well.


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