Last night my husband and I were obviously reading from different scripts or singing from different song sheets! My script was all about cleaning the house! We have guests staying with us later on in the week and the spare bedrooms would not pass a governmental health check! Actually, it’s not just the spare rooms – the whole house has been deteriorating around us. So, yes, my script has included lots of polish and hovering and ironing and stuff.
My husband’s script – well I am not quite sure what he was up to.
He has recently been promoted at work and came home, quite a lot later than I expected him to I might add, to show me a letter confirming his new status and details of his new salary. I should have been able respond with more than just a grunt, but I just refused to drop the resentment that had built up in me as I had worked on alone with the cleaning.
The evening progressed with him in the dog-house and me on my high horse, the two of us like two marbles coldly clinking together in a half cleaned jar!
Later that night as I wrapped myself in a book, Joe started to talk.
He told me about a day when he was ten or eleven. He had passed something like the 11 Plus test and had won a place at the local grammar school. He came from a very working class background and finding the extra money needed for all the items of the school uniform was not going to be easy. He remembered his mother taking him up to the school. It was way out of her comfort zone. She was absolutely frightened at meeting the whole school community, who were just from almost another planet, but she pulled herself to her full height and walked in the door. She charmed everyone in sight. She was more Roman Catholic than most of the Marist Brothers that taught in the school.
It was just that picture of her standing outside the gates determined that she would not let her son down that he was telling me about. She was proud of him for passing the exam and getting the chance to go to that school.
As he told me the story of his mother, with tears in his eyes, he ended with the words – “My mother would be proud of me today!” (Joe’s mum is in a nursing home, lost in dementia, and rarely connects with the real world these days.)
I am very proud of him and I thought I had said so. I suppose there are just some things you need to say over and over again.