Ever wonder if your husband will ever understand what its like to be a mother? Tell him to open a restaurant.
So…. We opened a restaurant.
I use the word ‘we’ loosely here. It’s my husband and his business partners who actually opened the restaurant. They’re the ones that took on planning, staffing and are still in the process of getting this establishment up on its feet. He’s the Mother in the birth of the restaurant and I, sit on the sidelines as the Father figure.
I’m the one who sleeps soundly, while my husband is up at night worrying and even at times nursing his baby back to sleep. Occasionally I’ll be asked, “Do you like these chairs?” and I’ll nod my head yes or no, my eyes only leaving my latest episode of my binge watching addiction for a moment.
I feed myself (and our actual children) while he’s away tending to each gurgle, coo or hiccup this baby brings forth. When it stinks, he’s the one making the change and when it smiles for the first time, he’s bragging about it. This is his one and only topic of conversation.
Bedtime comes much earlier for me. My husband is up late finishing homework, packing lunches, making sure his baby has what it needs for the days coming. He is the one with bags under his eyes, a stiff neck and a coffee addiction as he sees this through its infancy.
I hold his hand at the end of a long day while he shakes his head and wonders, “I knew it was going to be hard, but I didn’t know it was going to be like this.” I listen, without truly understanding, just what his days are like.
He is late for meetings and uses the restaurant as an excuse. He’s not eating as well as he should be and his body is calling out for help and yet he smiles. While this child pulls on his apron strings every three minutes with a shrill “Mama, Mama, Mama” accenting each tug, he’s smiling. He is so proud of his baby.
While I happily share posts on facebook and Instagram as their volunteer social media marketing person, I am only the proud father flashing his phone to his buddies at the local pub. While I eat at the restaurant often and tell my friends how good the food is, I have done very little to get it to the table, aside from keeping out of his way.
Our lives together, but separate, knowing, eventually, this child will walk without needing him to hold its hand. It will grow and change and he’ll be there to see it happen and I’ll take a few pictures to be sure there are witnesses to this accomplishment, while I wait for my husband to return.
Continuously marvelling at his dedication and the instincts that seem to have surfaced, at conception, out of nowhere. I am surprised by his persistence, believing that if I were wearing his shoes, I’d have given up by now. If I ever need to point out to my husband what it feels like to be a mother, I really think, using the restaurant as an example will be the quickest path to understanding.
Until that moment, I’ll leave you with my proud father moment. Check out what ‘we’ made at www.copperhouse.ca (Because I just can’t help myself, here are a few more pics.)
Photo credits: Angela Gzowski and Tara Marchiori