Between you and I, there are many things I should not say.
For one, I live in a house with six people. My parents – both of whom have high blood pressure and cholesterol – share their home with my college brother, husband, our nearly three-year-old son and me. My brother and I deeply love our parents, but sometimes they think in the overly optimistic view of the world. Mom believes the world is a tea party and everyone can get along. Dad fixes a broken pair of sunglasses with tape and says, “Now you can wear them again.”
Brother and I are grateful our parents keep a roof over our heads, and our parents (don’t always) accept our help in improving their health. We worry like we’re the parents when Dad walks in the house with bakery goods on sale.
When you turn around, someone is always there. When you turn to grab a pot or a glass in the kitchen, someone is reaching into the freezer for ice cubes or opening the cabinet right as you move.
My son is potty training. With a house of six people, he has a baseball team behind him. He has two male examples, who will let him observe. He has trained since December. Every day I hear conversations about how other people potty train their kids or how their toddler is fully trained before the age of three.
Our son is just taking his time. He has gone through three stages. During the first months, he sat on the toddler potty we bought him. He was sporadic in what he would do. Then he wanted to become a big boy and sit on the “big potty.” Now he wants to stand like the big men. The only problem is there is not a way I know of to teach him to aim.
Families aren’t always started the conventional way.
My husband and I met in a newspaper office. He asked me why men date crazy women. A 23-year-old married journalist, I did not know how respond.
“It’s for the sex,” he said.
He later told me he wanted to gauge my reaction. The office secretary later told me he was wild in younger years. He was also thirty-two-years older than me married with two sons.
Since 2008, journalists have referred to our economy as the Great Recession. In so many ways, it has been a depression. While not on the same level as the Great Depression in the 1930’s, I witnessed what unemployed workers lost. How many kept trying and what they gave up. When my husband lost his job, our family of three lost our home.
So there are many things I should not say, but in a family of six, a lot of words are said. They aren’t always heard. What you can take away from a big family, potty training, an affair and the economy is things never go the way we plan.
Elisabeth Tressie is a fictional name only.