“And where is the Pedialite?” he asks.
“In the medicine cabinet,” I answer quickly cleaning up another bout of sickness from one of the boys.
“And which cabinet is that?” he asks looking completely confused in the kitchen.
“The cabinet with the medicine, C,” I responded with the biting sarcasm that would accompany any mother who had been nursing two sick children since the day after her husband returned from war.
“Babe,” he said, keeping very calm, but obviously frustrated, “I don’t know which cabinet that is.”
Oooohhhhh yeah … oops. Of course he doesn’t. He has never lived here. He doesn’t know where to find a fork yet, let alone medication. Man, I’m dumb.
It is so easy to forget that our lives have been so very different over the past eleven months. It is so easy to forget that while we spoke nearly everyday, saw each other over Skype, told each other about our day to day, we did so from two different continents, that might as well be two very different worlds. It is so easy for me to become frustrated when he doesn’t know something that seems so simple to me before I am reminded that he cannot know because he hasn’t been here.
And he really got thrown into it. His very first morning home we woke up to not one but two very ill children. The day after he drove his new Jeep for the first time he spent hours cleaning out the result of that sickness from my car rather than joy-riding in his. He was thrown into a home that he had never stepped foot in before, where things were in places he couldn’t possibly know. His clothes in places that he hadn’t decided on. His things put in places that I had chosen.
How hard must that be to go from one place of complete control – where every decision was your decision, every placement of every item left to your choosing, every little thing being in your hands – to a house that you don’t know, where your things have been unpacked for you and placed in places you may not have chosen yourself. Where you have to depend on the knowledge of someone else just to find a towel or a spoon or a a packet of Pedialite for your child. Where your three-year-old-child knows where more things go than you do.
How strange that must be.
Lord, give me the patience. Lord, give him patience. Our two worlds must be made into one again and what a transition that will be.