This morning, Husband and I were looking over some of our tax paperwork from H&R Block and I zeroed in on the space where our occupations were listed. Right there in big, capital letters it stated “SALES” under Husband’s name.
And under mine? “HOUSEWIFE.”
This may seem odd, but it hits me at the strangest times that I don’t have an income and that I am, indeed, a HOUSEWIFE. In big ol’ black capital letters. This is what I wanted. And yet sometimes I feel a loss, like I used to be out there doing things. Important things. Earning money, making decisions, mattering. Sometimes the title of HOUSEWIFE makes me absolutely cringe, and I think to myself, “I’m not a housewife! I’m a mom. And a wife. Who happens to run the household … DAMNIT.”
I know deep down that I am doing the most important job I could be doing, and mattering more right now as I wipe snot from my son’s nose with his dirty sock than I ever could in my old office, but to the rest of the world I’m just a HOUSEWIFE. To his credit, Husband said he argued with the man and said to list me as a DOMESTIC ENGINEER, probably because the title weirds him out as well, but HOUSEWIFE it remained.
But let me tell you something, world. Last night I was minding my own business reading a book on the couch when Maverick said to me, “What would happen if I lost one of these balls?” And I looked over, and he had his TESTICLES IN HIS HANDS.
Now, the book I happened to be reading was the one I told you about a few weeks ago on raising boys. I had just read the chapter about sexuality and how it’s much better to provide your son with matter-of-fact information when he asks for it, rather than hoping he can figure it out on his own. Right on cue, this happened. So I put my book down, and talked to my 4-year-old son about his testicles.
Me: What do you mean, “lose” one?
ONE: You know, like if it went up inside me somewhere? What if I lost one?! What would happen then?
Me: You can’t “lose” them, they’re safe there in that bag. Not to worry.
ONE: So they’ll stay in this bag forever? Why do I have them? What do they do?
Me: Umm … well, they’re a very important part of you. You need to take care of them … put them away now, okay? That’s private.
ONE: But what do they DO?
Me: When you grow up, and you’re an adult, they make the ingredients for a baby.
Me: (silent relief)
And that was the end of that. For now.
So while on paper I may be labeled a HOUSEWIFE, I am actually much more than that. I don’t know what to label myself exactly, but I can assure you I don’t get paid enough.
ONE: Hey mommy, can I see your uvula?
Me: My WHAT?
ONE: Your uvula. The little punching bag in the back of your throat.
Me: OH …