My boyfriend walked into the kitchen as I was beginning to sort dishes and said “okay mom, the kids are going to be entertained for the next 15 minutes or so.” I shuffled some plates around and put a couple of glasses on top. “Now’s your chance to have some time to yourself.”
“Okaaaay” I sing-songed, “I’ll use this time to start a load of laundry and do these dishes!”
“I was thinking of something more enriching,” he said, nuzzling my neck. “I think you should get into bed…”
“…and close the door, and read a book.” He kissed me on the cheek, smacked my ass, and walked back into the living room where the kids were all waiting for him to play Beatles Rock Band with them. I smiled with my hands in the sink and looked at all that needed to be done. It felt impossible to walk away from the mess, to just go in the other room knowing all that was in the kitchen and laundry baskets – sitting, caking, waiting to be cleaned.
But I did go. It would have been like refusing a thoughtful and much-needed gift if I hadn’t. I got my phone and my laptop and climbed into bed – it felt like cheating if I didn’t take at least some mode of work potential with me. Next to the bed is a stack of books and magazines waiting to be read, so I plucked a copy of The Sun from several months ago, folded backwards to where I’d left off, and started reading.
Two paragraphs in, the music stopped and I heard Paulie in the kitchen. He brought in two bottles of wine, displayed them both to me, and asked “should we try the Michel Schlumberger, or have this Primitivo?” I chose the Michel Schlumberger. Without response he turned around and exited the bedroom, closing the door behind him. Soon he brought me a glass of wine, along with some slices of Pecorino.
“I know, I’m a cheese enabler, but here.” He set it all on the nightstand beside me with a wink before disappearing again. Soon the sounds of Yellow Submarine flowed into the cracks around our bedroom door.
A cheese enabler,only? I sipped my wine, relaxed into the bed with my magazine and the sounds of joy floating in from the living room, and deeply inhaled, smiling to myself. Happy to be so loved, and so enabled.