December 10 18

When the kids were wee and my husband would text me, “I’ve got a work trip,”

{Did we even have text back then? Maybe it was a carrier pigeon he used to let me know he was leaving. Ali is old #492: I can’t even remember when texting became a thing.}

I would just dread these words. Well, actually, first I’d ignore them and then basically a day before he’d remind me that he was going away and I’d have to figure out some sort of plan for solo parenting but I was too deep in denial to really focus on meal plans and carpools. I hated when he went away. I mean, it was mostly because it was precisely the minute he’d get on an airplane that one or two or three of the children would display a very impressive barf-a-palooza, or, you know, I’d get into a car accident or Emily slipped and fell on the ice and opened up her knee juuuuuust enough that it probably needed stitches but because I didn’t want to put the other two kids in snowsuits and spend the night in the ER, I just gave her a Barbie band-aid and a hot chocolate and told her it was fine and now she has herself a fancy knee scar that she whips out when she wants to announce to our friends and family how inept of a mother I am. Or there was my favorite joyous occasion that my mom came to visit to alleviate some of the single parenting duty and then all five of us — the kids, me, and my mom — all got strep. Oh yes, that good old Murphy and his law showed up immediately when the work trip began.

As the kids got older, I’ve realized how much I *like* when my husband goes on work trips and it’s not just because when he goes away I can stay up all night watching Hallmark Christmas movies and watch Mrs. Maisel go to the Catskills and fold the laundry on his side of the bed and get take-out every night for dinner.

A lot of it is because of that.

A lot. 

But it’s also because when you find yourself twenty years into being one half of a partnership, there are things that you just don’t do. There are certain tasks that belong to the Mr., if only because he did them the first week we were married and I was like, oh, well I guess that’s just his job  forever now — taking out the garbage, Chumash homework, going to the dry cleaner {this came about in a particularly fun newlywed conversation that began with “Oh, you ironed my shirts? That’s sweet of you but that’s not how my mother does it…”and ended with “Well, I guess you’ll be taking your shirts to the dry cleaners for the rest of our lives then,”} putting air in the tires when the indicator flashes, changing light bulbs, printing things for the kids, setting the coffee maker to brew on Shabbat morning.

And when the other half is gone, I need to do those things.

And it’s a really good feeling when I figure out how to put air in the low tire and the indicator stops flashing and I’m all “HUH I AM BASICALLY GAL GADOT NOW.”


I like when I set the timer on the coffee maker and I wake up on Shabbat morning and the whole house smells like coffee. I feel good when I help Isabella study for Chumash and she feels confident for her test even though Daddy was away.

I know it’s silly. And I don’t even know why it’s empowering. It’s 2018 — almost 2019! — not 1955. Clearly I am capable of taking the garbage out.

But maybe sometimes it’s easy to forget how capable you can be when there’s always someone there to do all the things. Someone to put the air in the tires and call the electrician and scoop the dog poop and make the coffee and barbecue the meat and fix the wifi and someone to direct the kids to when I say “Go ask your Daddy.”

Maybe it’s like when her daddy taught her how to change a tire. Sure, we will bail her out when she needs us to, but how good will she feel when she’s living on her own at University and she blows a tire and instead of calling us for help she can just roll up her sleeves and do it herself. Basically Gal Gadot. 



  1. I need Brian to get a job that has work trips only because I’m WAY behind on all my shows! Ha!

    Comment by Kristabella on December 10, 2018

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