Do y'all remember that woman, Ayelet Waldman, the writer who is married to author Michael Chabon (one of my favorites)? A few years ago, there was a big hoopla when she wrote an essay in which she basically explored her conviction that a woman should consider her relationship with her husband more important than her relationship with her children. "I love my husband more than I love my children" she said. She also said that she could survive the death of her children, but not the death of her husband, and stated "He and I are the core of what he cherishes... the children are satellites, beloved but tangential." Do you remember that woman?
I am not that woman. There, I said it.
I could survive the death of my husband, but not the death of my child. I place my child first, and my husband second. I'm not saying this is a good thing or a bad thing. It is just what I feel.When I have to make a choice between the two, Jude always comes out on top.
Part of this stems from a belief that since Jude is just a little boy, he needs me much more. He is a child. He needs protection and guidance and love, love, love in order to grow to be a confident, capable man. To have confidence in himself, and confidence in my love.
Jimmy, however, is a grown man, who should have received all that protection and guidance and love, love, love from HIS mother. He's a grown man, for God's sake, and should already have confidence in himself and confidence in my love...oh wait. I see.
So here lies one of the biggest problems with being married...with children. We women start placing the kid first, and the needy little boy still deep inside our husbands is left out. Maybe this is incredibly obvious to all of you, but I must say, this has been a powerful revelation for me. Sometimes, Jimmy needs me to let him know that I love him. That I choose...him.
This all came clear to me last week.
Jimmy had planned a night out for us on Saturday. We seldom (and I mean SELDOM) go out on a date night. It's pathetic. But our friend Juliet Landau (yes, Drusilla to you Buffy fans) was in a play, which had been getting fabulous reviews, and we thought we should go see it to support her. Back in our pre-parenthood days, we used to see friends in plays all the time. Nowadays? Almost never, or at least almost never together. But Jimmy had been talking to Juliet's dad, Martin Landau (yes, him), and it turned out that Marty hadn't seen Juliet's play yet either, and wanted to come with us, so we could make the reservation under our name and surprise Juliet. So the plan was that we would take Marty with us, then maybe go out for a bite afterward. Sounds fun, right?
Then, on Wednesday, I got an email from Jude's Cub Scout leaders. Because Jude's pack sold the most popcorn of any pack in the Greater Los Angeles Area (some feat, I must say), the top 10 sellers were being honored with a Night of Royalty by the LA Kings hockey team, and Jude was one of the top sellers. They achieved this last year also, and it was EXTREMELY fun. Not only did each boy get two really excellent tickets for the game, but they got to go down and have their picture taken on the ice, meet with a Kings player, and during halftime, they went down and sat on the bench, and had their names announced to the whole crowd in the Staples Center, while their picture was put up on the enormous Jumbotron. A huge and exciting honor. Here they are last year...
In other words, an honor and an event that a kid and his mom would remember all their lives.
Oh, and did I mention when this was to take place? Saturday night. That is right.
What was I to do? How could I consider sending Jude on his Night of Royalty without me? But how could I tell Jimmy that I couldn't go to the play with him? Seeing this play was very important to him, and taking Marty with us meant SO much. Martin Landau is an actor who Jimmy respects tremendously, and our friendship with him is very important to him. And what's more, Marty is technically Jimmy's boss at The Actor's Studio, where Jimmy teaches.
And that was when I had my previously mentioned revelation. I had to make a choice. And I needed to choose...my husband.
I sat Jude down and tried to explain to him that I needed to be with Daddy, because sometimes Moms and Dads needed to do things just for themselves. I was prepared for him to be terribly upset that I wouldn't be with him. And guess what? He COULDN'T HAVE CARED LESS. He completely understood, and told me he hoped we had fun. I guess all that protection and guidance and love, love, love I've been giving him has made him a confident, capable boy. Confident in my love.
So Jude went off to his LA Kings game with his best friend A.J. and his mom, Ronda, and they had a BLAST! Here he is with his fellow top-sellers A.J. and Nick...
Doesn't look too miserable, does he?
What did Jimmy and I do? We had a FABULOUS time. We really did. The play was excellent. Juliet was luminous, and surprised and delighted that her dad was there to see her. Martin was amazing company. And after the play we went out to dinner. Yes, dinner at 10:30 at night! To La Poubelle, a restaurant that we used to go to all the time apres theater back in the old days. We both had the Moules Frites (mussels in white wine, leeks, garlic, butter and thyme sauce with fries) and two glasses of an excellent wine. SO decadent.
So the choice was made, and I have to say I'm extremely glad I made the choice I did. Because while Jude is confident in my love, I now know that Jimmy needs to be reassured. And I know it was good for us both. I guess we all need a little protection and guidance and love, love, love.
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