Hi, I’m Adrienne and I’m the only adult in my house. Most of the time, I’m okay with that. I get all the closet space, no one steals my stash of Oreos (that I keep too high up for the kids to notice), and the toilet seat is never up in the middle of the night.
Other times, it’s really hard. I’ve lived on my own with no problem, but there’s something about having kids in the house that raises the stakes. If there were a break-in or a fire, it’s not affecting only me anymore. When there’s a tornado warning or a flood watch, it’s all on me to keep the kids out of harm’s way as best I can.
When Drew first moved out, I woke up countless nights to every little noise, convinced that something awful was happening. Someone was trying to creep in the basement windows or pick the lock on the front door. I’d startle awake, my heart pounding, and grab my cell phone. But who to call? After listening and sitting so still that all I could hear was the blood rushing though my head, I’d eventually calm down and realize it was just a noise like all houses make.
Then there are the times a major appliance breaks down. I’ve had to figure out how to turn off the electricity and the water because pipes have leaked, the washing machine has become unbalanced, and the furnace made a scary sound. Men probably feel intimidated about certain home repairs too, but they have a more exploratory nature, whereas I assume that anything I touch is going to break down even further with my intervention.
Growing up, I learned how to change the sheets and cook and iron and sew, but my dad didn’t teach me guy things because he never expected I’d need to know them. As a result, I’m as unbalanced as the washer. I don’t think of turning off the pipes to the outside faucets or cleaning the gutters because they were never in my realm of responsibility before.
I’m teaching my sons everything I know. I hope they have someone to share the joys and responsibilities of home-ownership, but just in case, they won’t be as unprepared as I was.
Read more about my life after divorce in Giving Myself Away, available now.
Available at Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle format
Available at Barnes and Noble in paperback and Nook format