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January 2009
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Note to husbands: this is JUST how you handle it if an old girlfriend calls

A few weeks ago I was making dinner when the phone rang. I answered, and a woman's voice said brightly, "Hi, this is Rosemary _, can I speak to Clay?"

I pulled the phone back and gave it the squirrely eye before answering with competing brightness, "Sure, just a minute."

Despite the relative smallness of our house, it took me a bit to find Clay, and I wandered around, calling, "Clay? Honey? Where are you, hon?" If it were me, calling, I thought, I would realize Clay is taken and hang up. I found him in the basement, working on some project. I held the phone out to him and said mildly, "It's for you. A Rosemary _?"


"Rosemary _."

He shrugged at me, I shrugged back, and handed off. And then (I was so proud), I turned on my heel and went back upstairs. I didn't even linger around the corner. Through no fault of Clay's, I trend toward the suspicious. But I marched up the stairs and set back to working on dinner.

Not a minute later Clay came up the stairs and into the kitchen.

"Yup," he said, "my life is great. I'm MARRIED to a beautiful woman," here he walked over to stand behind me and put his hand on my back. "And I've got a daughter, and three sons, and another daughter on the way. *pause* Yes, you have a great life, too." He hung up and looked at me.

"Hi. Friend of yours?" I said.

Turns out it was an old girlfriend from the early 90s. She'd been thinking about him, and decided to look him up. It didn't actually bother me, partially because Clay was so worried it would. It doesn't make sense, I think, to blame him because an old girlfriend decided to fire up Google. Mostly, it provided me an opportunity to needle Clay a little and giggle.

That evening, though, when dinner was eaten and the dishes were done, I looked over at Clay. He was curled up on the couch with Raphael, watching some old TV show set in WWI. He and Raphi love it, while the rest of us find it somewhat incomprehensible.

Winter08 008

I looked at him, this handsome man who has been my partner for three years now. I thought of how he'd described us to the mysterious Rosemary - his wife, his daughter, his sons, and his daughter on the way. The complexities of how we came to him don't matter. What matters is that each of us are his to love, the sum of his "great life."

I'd been feeling a little smug toward the voice on the phone, reaching out to someone who was clearly mine. But as I thought about it, I realized that I might do the same thing if I was in her shoes. It wouldn't matter if nearly twenty years had gone by. I wouldn't be able to rest, either, if he was my one who got away.

Thank God he didn't. Happy anniversary, love. Thank you for loving us all, so well.

For some reason my children have a long history of taking words and turning them into CODE for OTHER WORDS. Anyone remember bodice? For those of you who aren't using this blog as a crutch to prop up their faltering memories so they can keep track of my sons' entire lives (in other words, all of you who aren't me), the boys used to say BODICE. And as it turned out, that was a CODE WORD for BOTTOM. *eye roll*

Just so you know, I have never forbidden my children to say bottom. I promise.

Anyhow, recently it has come to light that the boys have a new code word. This one is THING and it means pen1s. For heaven's sake.

"IT IS A PEN1S," I bellow at them. "You each HAVE ONE, you can SAY IT!"

But no, apparently they can't. Besides, life is much funnier this way. Because if you happen to have a mother who is suffering from serious pregnant brain, there will be several occasions in your day when she will be unable to access the right noun and will instead call some random object a "thing."

Oh, the funniness.

Today I was talking to Clay, who was inexplicably washing dishes before dinner. Tre was bustling around, making dinner. I had some bread dough almost ready to go in the oven, and had my eye on a pot that was in the sink to bake it in. It occurred to me that Clay might wash THAT pot too, saving me the trouble.

"Hey, honey!" I called out, "are you planning to wash that other...thing too?"

On the other side of Clay, Tre snorted and ducked his head.

"Are you going to was the other THING, Dad?" he snickered.

Oh fer the love of...suddenly it's like I'm living with a 13 year old boy-

wait a minute.

Oh, that's right. Never mind.