A Pre-Valentine's Day Letter to My Other Half

Dear Darling,

Remember how we were so excited to embark on this journey together? Life as one. Sharing a house. Building a family. We had grand visions of splitting diaper duty, dividing and conquering the chores, rotating late night bottle feeding…ahhh we were going to be such a freakin’ awesome team. And we totally were! But now it’s been a few years. And the newness has worn off. And life has returned to normal. Well, it has for you anyways. I have simply mastered the art of juggling soccer mom duties with a career. Oh, and those small, minuscule, housekeeping duties…yea, those seemed to have fallen into my court as well.

With Valentine’s Day upon us, rather than letting you struggle to find the “perfect gift”, I figured I would help you out. What I actually want this year is just to remind you how awesome we are when we are a team, and hope that we can get back to that point. You know, T-E-A-M, like a group thing… not M-E.

When mommy is happy, everyone is happy. You know what they say: happy wifey, happy lifey. Let me elaborate…

 

The sink is a super convenient place for stacking dishes. Totally understandable. But I promise you that putting dishes into the dishwasher is also super easy. You don’t need my permission! Just go ahead and stack away. I won’t even get mad when you put the silverware upside down and haphazardly arrange dishes so that only a fraction of what should fit, does.

The vacuum… you know that thing that sucks up dirt, rice, and spare Legos? It’s in the coat closet by the stairs. If at any point the carpet looks like it could use a good once-over, or after you and our son have made a gigantic mess while eating chips in front of the TV, no need to wait for me to get home so I can get a visual; I’ll take your word for it. I know I’m the "best vacuumer” in seven counties, but I trust that you’ll do great if you would just give it a try.

You know, T-E-A-M, like a group thing. Not M-E.

 

I love playing games as much as anybody, and I know how competitive you are. But Garbage Jenga is not a real game… and to be honest, I despise it. Once the garbage is full, meaning the trash reaches the rim of the can, it is not a competition to see who can strategically stack as much as possible until the pile falls. You got this babe. I know you will win every time, so no need to prove it to me. Just take it outside and we can both agree that Dad is the best garbage stacker around.

Toilet scrubbing duty. Lord, where do I even begin? Between our son and yourself, I can’t tell whose aim is worse. And I’m not criticizing, really I’m not. I have no idea how incredibly difficult it must be to hit a target that is a foot or so away from you. And mornings are… hard. But contrary to popular belief, cleaning toilets does not warm my heart. And even though I love you and our little peanut to death, it doesn’t make scrubbing potty stains any less disgusting. Do you have any idea what the bathroom would look like if I didn’t tend to it every week? Ugh, the thought horrifies me. Maybe every so often, just throw out a “hey, thanks for being super awesome and making sure I have a tidy place to tinkle.” It would be greatly appreciated. And please, please, please at least look at the target when aiming, no matter how sleepy you are.

The washing machine and dryer can seem overwhelming, as can the three overflowing laundry baskets. So many clothes. So many settings. Hot water. Cold Water. What is a delicate? Where does the detergent go? Does gray go with white or colored clothing? While I highly prefer you not bleach, tie dye, or shrink my favorite outfits, if you really need a certain shirt or pair of pants washed by “x” date, go right ahead and give that machine a try! There really is no reason you have to wait until 11PM the night before an important event to remind me that you need your favorite shirt washed. I have full confidence that you can wash an item or two. I’ll even show you how to turn it on.

When it comes to dressing our child in the morning, I know firsthand how amazing your outfit picking skills are. No, I am not being sarcastic… ok maybe just a little. But, criticize no more. Feel free to pick out his outfits when I am already running twenty minutes late for work and have not yet even dried my hair. The amazing thing about kids is that they don’t really care what they wear. And despite making me shudder, red pants with an orange shirt won’t kill them. It’ll make us look bad, but they will be fine. Go ahead Dad. Get creative.

My voice sounds like an angel when I read bedtime stories, I know, I know. However, yours can too… with practice. It’s totally ok for you to read to our kiddo. If I am still busy doing XYZ chores around the house, go right ahead and jump into story time. And while you’re at it, I trust you to help them get his PJs on and to brush those little teeth too. I love being in charge of the bedtime routine night after endless night, but I am ok conceding these duties to you every now and then. Yes, I am willing to sacrifice Green Eggs and Ham because this means I can (maybe) get to bed before the clock tells me that it is officially the next day. Oh bed, how I've missed you.

Dinner. That annoying thing you both want a daily basis. You are the man of the house, and thus I believe you can be the man of the kitchen. Feel free to flex those muscles and show this family how great of a cook you are. You don’t even need my permission on when and what to cook. In fact, you don’t even need to wait until I’m home to begin. When the urge strikes, go ahead and try out that new frying pan. And ironically, I don’t know how to make everything off the top of my head either. I read the recipe. It tells you, literally step-by-step, how to do everything! Isn’t that amazing?! You got this babe and I’m sure it’ll be delicious.

 

Darling, do you see how many skills you have that you aren’t even using? Such great potential, just wasting away. I wouldn’t be doing my job if I let all of that talent go unnoticed. So, this Valentine’s Day, I don’t need an expensive dinner reservation or a fancy gift to make me feel appreciated (though I wouldn’t turn it down either… ), but it’s the little things every single day that mean the most. Let’s remember how we used to do things, back when we were trying to impress each other. You know, act the way that got us to where we are. Besides, I know exactly what you want for Valentine’s Day…and I can choose to deliver or withhold. The choice is yours babe. Help me, help you.

Love,

Your Better Half

Kirk Morales Photography: Phoenix, Arizona: 2015