Breakfast. This morning: Eggs that my son collects each evening. And Froot Loops, the ones that have extra colored sparkle dust, just in case you didn’t remember that Froot is not Fruit for legal reasons.
The boys are absorbed in discussion about how to get me to plug in the Wii again. (“We should clean our room without her asking!”)
I look across the table to the farmer and I say, “I’m happy. I love you.”
He says, “That’s good. The kids need that. Interesting does nothing for kids.”
Then he walks over to my side of the table. He puts his arm around me and squeezes me. He says, “I love you, too,” and he goes out to the wood burning heater.
I watch him.
There’s something primal about a husband who literally cuts the wood to heat the house in the winter, and then keeps the fire going. And when he kisses me at lunch, his face smells like the fire.
We do not have an easy relationship. No relationship is easy. Thank goodness we know this, because marriage is starting to remind me of childbirth—it’s incredible that so many people do it when it is so painful.
But marriage is like childbirth also in that the benefits are so much.
We have had so many violent outbursts that the farmer has taken the precaution of putting the police on speed dial. This means a lot, especially when you consider that he doesn’t really know how to use his phone. It took him a long time to learn how to do speed dial.
We have been dishonest with each other. He changed his will without telling me. I found out by reading his journal. Sins galore here.
My favorite thing about us is that we are forgiving. Today, if he dropped dead, my house, and probably all the furniture in it, would go to his parents. I should hate him for changing the will without telling me.
He should hate me for going off the birth control pill, for a year, without telling him. After I had the most publicized unwanted pregnancy in the world.
The patience we have for each other is incredible. But maybe every couple is like this. Does every couple fuck each other over like we do?
I think about what might happen if I left the Farmer. Where would I go? I don’t know. There is not somewhere I want to live more than the farm. There is not someone I would rather raise my kids with than the farmer. I love the stability of him. The chores. His tractor breaks down and he pauses, fixes it, and continues.
I told the farmer about a feature on Ask Men (I can’t find the link, sorry). You can find out why men like a given woman: Face, body, intelligence, money, wild side…
I said, “Why do people like me?”
He said, “Intelligence and wild side.”
He likes that I don’t feed my goats on a schedule. He didn’t know baby animals could survive on such an erratic feeding schedule. This is my wild side, I guess.
Last night, in bed, when I was working hard at not yelling and not crying when I found out he changed his will, I said, “What are we doing together?”
And he said, “We are making life not lonely for each other.” And he said, “We are raising boys together.”
I want to tell you I am happy happy happy, and this is a happily ever after story. It’s not though. I don’t trust happiness. I trust interestingness. I feel like I have more control over it. I need to have a company that consumes me intellectually. And I don’t quite have that right now. I’m working on it.
But the company doesn’t make me happy. The research does not lie. A career makes an interesting life. A good marriage makes a happy life. This is so basic and simple, but it always ends up being controversial. It’s so un-PC to say that marriage is essential to happiness. And is it controversial to say kids need happiness around them, not interestingness?
I don’t have evidence to support this. I only have a bright sunny morning breakfast with two scheming boys and one squeezing husband. Hooray.
Photos by Melissa Sconyers.