When I was twelve I played badminton. I loved it. I was never a diehard sports fan but when it came to playing badminton with my best friend Janelle, we were unbeatable—of course I mean that in a metaphorical sense. Janelle was the brawns…And well let’s face it, she was the brains too. I was mostly there to make weird and erratic gestures at our opponents to distract them while ole Nelly smashed the birdie into their court. What can I say, we had a killer system.
Now maybe it was our genius strategy that made us great, or maybe it was just that we had a perfect partnership. We knew how to work together and we ran with that. Have you ever been the other half of a truly amazing duo? I hope so, it’s a wonderful feeling.
Luckily for me, my badminton days weren’t the last of the great partnerships in my life.
“MOM! You’re the worst!” Sophie yells at me because I will not open up the third bite sized chocolate bar she has requested in the last fifteen minutes.
“Nope, you don’t need anymore!” I say because I can blatantly see the cataclysmic sugar rush she is already coming down off of.
“YOU NEVER LET ME DO ANYTHING!” She screams. I wonder if we will one day have this same conversation but instead it will be about her wearing a skirt that is too short or going out on a date with a dude whose pants are held up by his ankles and cannot form full sentences when he speaks. I’ll have to worry about that later though, for now I send her to her room and she slams the door.
Ten minutes later I hear a CRASH-BOOM-BANG coming from Lars’ room. In all honesty I am not in a huge hurry to discover what has happened because I have simply had my fill of drama for this day. I can already hear the children squabbling.
“Okay guys settle down, what’s the problem?” I ask. It seems that they don’t hear me. “Sophie, aren’t you supposed to be in your bedroom right now?” Again my words manage to be drifting directly over their tiny heads and straight out the window. How curious. “Ahem! Children- listen up.” I raise my voice to a point that is just louder than there caws.
Lars slightly shifts his head towards me, it reminds me of the way a deer does when danger nears. Sophie slowly turns her gaze to meet mine.
“OK listen up guys, I don’t want to hear your screaming and yelling. Sophie you are in your bedroom, Lars you can clean up the mess in the living room that you conveniently forgot about. I don’t have time for this, dinner is burning!” I make sure I’ve made eye contact with both of them for this last part, “No more fighting, it doesn’t solve anything. If you have an issue with each other we will talk it out after dinner.”
I turn to go back to the spaghetti sauce on the stove. Maybe it is the burnt smell of tomatoes or the fact that the kids just wouldn’t listen today, but I break. Tears begin running down my face while I attempt to salvage what I can from the now smoking pot.
I hear the door open. It’s funny how one simple noise can sound so much like salvation.
Being the superb man that my husband is he moves towards me instinctively when realizing I am upset. I begin to tell him the happenings of the day and how I have come to the point of sobbing hopelessly into a heap of scorched spaghetti sauce.
“Man those guys are little jerks, like who are their parents anyways?” He says while making exaggerated and bewildered face. I laugh, because, well it sort of funny, and at the moment it is the only thing left to do. “Now don’t worry, I actually brought home some leftovers from work today and I will go and talk to those little worms.” He is so calm and in that moment I am actually envisioning him as a knight in shining armor. That Jamie, he is always saving me.
I’m not sure what he says to the kids but it must be effective. Moments later they enter the kitchen and both of them begin hugging my legs.
“We love you Mom, sorry we weren’t listening.” They say.
Most often a perfect partnership delves much deeper than what meets the eye. Even though Jamie and I bicker endlessly about the small stuff, disagree on many of the trivial pursuits of life and can quite often be found in headstrong heated debates, this thing we have works. Because in the end, we’ve got each other’s back and that is something I’ll take to the bank any day of the week.