Six years ago.
I was invited to be on a panel discussion, talking about religion and marriage. One main discussion point was if it was ok to marry someone outside your own religion. I represented the Roman Catholic view point. Only half the panel was married. I was the only one, who not only dated men outside my religion but married someone outside my religion. I shocked most of the panel, and I was shocked by them since I was raised in a two religion household. Nothing shocking. Just two different versions of Christianity.
I felt my best moment was when I kept an interested, unskeptical look on my face when one panelist declared that she didn’t need to date since God has already made her soul mate and He will bring that man into her life when it was time. I was sure she was confusing the Bible with some fairy tale. I could see how that would bring confusion. She, on the other hand, could not wrap around the idea of marrying someone who was not of my faith. “But how can you grow closer to God without your husband sharing that relationship?” “How can you grow stronger in your faith if your husband doesn’t help you?” “But what of the children? Won’t they be confused? How will you raise them?”
Good question. And I answered that one too, pointing to my first-born son in the arms of his father in the back of the room.
As I listened to another panelist, one that didn’t think I was insane and going to hell, the ex held Evan up a little and pointed to the door. I nodded. I understood, even when he tried to text me a moment later. He was taking Evan home; it was past the poor little guy’s bedtime. It was really sweet of the ex to come and bring Evan.
I finished up the panel, answered questions from the audience, gave an interview to the university’s newspaper reporter, and caught a ride with a friend home.
When I got home, I listened to the ex’s tale of woe of dealing with a baby, trying to keep him content and quiet, understanding it all since I too had been there.
The ex: So then I realized he had a dirty diaper. So I took him to the bathroom. There were no changing tables! I started looking for a place. I couldn’t find one anywhere! I ended up rolling the stroller outside and changing him there. It was an explosion! It was a four-wipe mess! Poop everywhere! I finally got him cleaned up and decided to put him in his jams. He moved and struggled and yelled, and finally I was able to get him zipped up. I picked him up and realized something was wrong. I held him. I patted him. And then it dawned on me, I forgot to put on his diaper! I then unzipped him, fought with him, and finally got his diaper on and zipped him up. It was hell!
Me: Wait. You forgot his diaper?
And then I laughed. And laughed. What idiot forgets to put on a diaper on a baby? And I laughed. It was a great story to tell to other moms while the men were grilling and drinking beers. And we laughed.
It was the morning crunch time. I was almost ready for the day. Evan and Sean were at various stages of ready. My God, I hated nagging, yelling, stressing. I grabbed Aidan who was running around and laughing, trying to play “Catch me if you can.” I tossed him on the changing table and pulled out a few clothes out of the drawer. I took out his feet out of the pajamas and took off the diaper.
Me: Diaper rash. Hold on, kid.
I ran to grab the Aquaphor out of the boys’ room. That stuff is great for mouth sores and dry hands as well.
Me: Sean! Get. Your. Pants. On. NOW! EVAN! What are you doing?!
I walked back into the nursery. I pulled Aidan off the light switches, laid him back down, dressed him quickly, and put him on the floor to toddle after his brothers. I looked at the time. Actually, not bad. Considering.
For some reason, they jammed through the last of the routine as Evan realized that if he hurried he could play a video game for a few moments. Which I shouldn’t allow. Because when it was time to leave, everyone dragged their feet to get their backpacks, lunches, and shoes. We were back behind schedule.
I grabbed Aidan.
Me: You’re wet. Very wet.
I ran my hands down his very wet pants. That made no sense. I patted his butt. Crap! Crap, crap, crap! What idiot forgets to put a diaper on a toddler?