I would literally dislocate both of my shoulders attempting to get all of the groceries into the house in one trip.
Especially because we live in the city. And the closest parking spot to our front door is at least 50 yards away. Which is why I usually walk. Except when I don't.
So anyways - the baby is asleep and I've got 4 reusable grocery bags full of the things and a gallon of milk and there I am, two on each shoulder. the milk jug on my pinky and I've got this.
I lift up my 30so pound droopy toddler out of the car seat and lock the car with my right butt cheek.
10 steps in and one bag slides. Then the next. And the third. And the last - they all slide to a halt on my elbows where they catch because - the baby. who by the way is now awake staring at me but incapable of using her own legs.
3 trips later at 70 pounds a piece I did make it. I carried it all.
I like to think I'm good at that. Carrying the things. In fact sometimes I think I'm so good at it that I forget I'm not the only one carrying.
I'm going to beat around the bush for a minute because I have to say something I'm kind of feeling embarrased to say but I have to admit it - so if you just stick around for the end - if you can - I promise it's worth it.
but I just have to get this out first.
sometimes it feels like I carry a lot.
I carry the groceries, and the baby, and the shopping and the errands and the cleaning and the cooking and the part time job from home and the phone calls and the appointments and the emails after emails and the deadlines and the stress of what the next few months mean and the friendships and the mom stuff and the guilt. the guilt. I carry the weight of treading water like its all too much and I'm running out of air under this never ending pile of 'to do' and I just feel like all I keep on saying is "sure, I'll carry that too"
I don't say it like that exactly, you know. Actually never those specific words - but I say it in "I'll get that done tomorrow, and I'll drop that off today and I'll help you with this and I'll get you that or we can meet here" and I say it in the dishes we don't have a dishwasher for and I carry it when I contemplate just tossing the clothes away instead of washing them because I'm 73 loads of laundry behind and I carry it most - I carry it most when I lay Sawyer down to sleep and I wonder if I carried so much today that I forgot to carry her.
But then there's Taylor.
He carries his backpack and his laptop and his 5 or 6 heavy books, usually [always] in the rain under an umbrella every morning when he leaves us before the sun comes up to walk the mile and a half to the med school for 10 hour days. He's carrying school, and his rotations and his patients and his presentations and his applications and his interviews with residencies and he's carrying the weight of what this education holds for us.
And he carries me too in the morning when he lets me have 5 and 5 again and then another 2 more minutes of sleep before the day begins. He's carrying me when I unload about my feelings and I cry about my fears in his arms on the couch and he carries me in all the things I need and want and when he's tired and just simply out - straight up on empty - still - he finds more time and carries me. Then finds some more and carries Sawyer.
He's carrying it all - too.
My life changed immensely when I chose to stop seeing his burdens as his own. When I stopped acting like his list was his list and my list was my list and when I stopped putting us in separate columns like two different teams or two different boats - ready to need one another but unable to cross that line.
We went from "waving from two separate boats saying 'hey! I see you over there and you're doing great' but never abandoning our own ship" - to - "sitting side by side, in one boat, holding the other oar and saying "I'm here, I'll paddle with you"
I don't know when or what it was - but it hit me one day in an abrupt and sudden epiphany from God. His burdens and his stresses and his deadlines - they're mine too.
I decided it was this that I would tell myself everyday : I carry what he carries and he carries what I carry.
Its been a slow but noticeable change. I find us both helping each other in small, but meaningful ways. Its not life changing immediately, but day changing - month changing - happiness changing - stress changing. never aiming to play a mind game or an intentional way to manipulate the way we work together as a couple, I do think God softened both of our hearts into leaning more into each other simply with shifting our attitudes.
I wish I could explain this better.
We carry the fear and the money stuff and the decision stuff and the parenting stuff and oh my gosh am I talking too much about carrying stuff? I know we are A L L carrying those things. all of us. But sometimes its just freaking hard, it will always be hard, But I do find this feels less hard - together. It feels comforting. it feels safe.
When I stopped viewing the "I'll carry that too" as a burden to take on independently- it became clear that it was never a burden at all.
I'll carry that too became I'll carry that with you.
I carry that also, with you.
So at night, just as he falls asleep - (always before me) while I stay up scrolling, thinking, analyzing all the things I do - I'll know that we will both wake up to the same tomorrow. The same shared day.
And he won't say it exactly in those words, you know,
But he will wrap his arms around me and it'll be said in the silence of knowing he's telling me "I'll carry that too.
And I will say it back. "me too, I'll carry that with you"