Mark and I have been married nine years, today. We'd be celebrating, but the silly man has a cold and has been rooted to the couch, moaning occasionally and being altogether miserable. So instead of talking about how much I love him (which I do), I'm going to replace my disappointment with introspection. Feel free to skip it if not in the mood.
My Mister is a calm fella. He is not nearly as emotional as I; which works out brilliantly in that when all hell breaks lose, he can keep calm and carry on, while I race about flapping my arms and yelling at inanimate objects. It's an excellent pairing, most days.
I'll admit that there are times when I wish he were more passionate/indignant. Sometimes a girl wants her fella to get his feathers ruffled a bit or become deeply emotional about the sweep of her hair. I blame romance novels, even though the number I've read in my life can be counted on one hand. Regardless, I sometimes foolishly long for a bit more drama and satisfy that need with an obsessive adoration of crime dramas. When I see how stupid people can be when emotional, I feel a little better about Mister Calm and Collected.
I once sat on a jury trail, witnessing what happens to a young man who'd never been taught to emotionally cope with disappointment. The defendant had, after discovering his girlfriend cheating, waved a gun around, stole a car and generally freaked the hell out. And now he had to go to prison for it. It broke my heart to vote to convict him, when I knew all he needed was a little guidance and maybe a hug.
Mothering two little girls has further showed me the value of a level head. Those little things are Emotional (with a capital E) and Mark is endlessly patient, calm and resourceful when they act like drama freaks. Every once in a while, especially when sick, something damages that calm and out comes the angry daddy voice. It scares the shit out of my kids. Remarkably, I've learned something very important about myself in those moments: I can be calm. It's as though I've taken the deepest of breaths. My voice drops to a lower register, my movements become slow and focused and I can (in most cases) deal with the situation much more effectively than had I had the emotional back-up I'm used to getting.
And this goes way back. As a child, my brother was the calm one, always taking care of the toaster catching fire or sheltering me when our parents split.
So here's what I'm wondering: does having back-up make us less effective in crisis or more so? Has anyone else noticed something similar in their family dynamics? What does this mean for my own emotional growth?