A really unusual turn of events had me driving 5 teenager boys through a snowstorm in the mountains with my husband to be picked up later to meet us. The highway was passable, but slow and a little anxious. I'm very familiar with driving in snow - just not mountains. At our destination, the roads were not cleared and the 5 teenagers came in handy pushing the van out of a few spots it wasn't designed for. We got everything done that we needed to do, then i left with two of them to drive through more snowy mountains to get my husband. By the time we got to where he was, i was on edge with the prolonged concentration of that kind of driving.
Typically, my husband prefers to drive - actually, prefers is a little mild, he almost always drives. It's been a thing as long as we've been together. As i pulled up to pick him up i was having a little trouble letting go of the steering wheel. I had been on and managing weird conditions and feeling very responsible for the boys in my care over a very long day. It occurred to me all of a sudden that i was not at all sure i would be able to switch off so easily. I was pretty certain that if he drove, i would still feel a need to be in in charge and "on" and that might end with me acting in some pretty unacceptable ways.
He must have had a clue that would be the case. He slid into the passenger side, told me he loved me, and off we went. Once we we all safely back where we needed to be, i was finally able to let go and turn off.
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I wrote this a few days ago and have been hemming and hawing about publishing it. Reading it, looking at it from the outside a bit, makes me feel very conflicted.
I sound, to me, like someone who is only marginally competent, like i've given up any ability to handle stresses or situations or make decisions or manage day to day life. Like i've given over my brain with my consent.
I really, really don't like this image of myself.
And i know damn well it isn't what my husband wants of me.
The fact is, what he wants of me is to be more, not less. He wants me to take on challenges. He wants me to think and function independently, but with him, not away from him.
It was a stressful day. It would have been for him as well. In the end - it is more helpful to each of us for me to be able to do what needs to be done when it needs to happen, and for him to be able to trust that.
And i don't think i've lost that confidence somewhere, I do think i've lost sight of the fact that it's really ok for me to have it.