While I love you so much for believing that I do ANYTHING gracefully, I have to be honest with you. I don't.
I don't even walk gracefully. I think I have an idea that I'm much smaller than I am. I'm always ramming into doorways and knocking things off of shelves with my butt, tripping over things, dropping things, over and over. I'm a mess.
I also don't emote gracefully. I explode and I cry and say bad swears about people and take a garbage bag out of the pantry with a dramatic SWISH and start tossing in everybody's belongings. Except that I'll reach out to grasp a ceramic frog and I don't have any idea where it came from, all I know is that he's cute and I've had him for longer than I can remember, and so I leave him where he is. Because he's mine, truthfully, and I always feel like everybody else stuff bothers me so much more than my own.
Kurt isn't happy. He has forgotten how to be happy, I think. I won't get too far into it, because well... it's probably none of your business. Just know that, as soon as our first daughter was born, he jumped into a selfless, tireless kind of existing where he made sure that I wasn't going insane, tried to make me happy by cleaning and caring for the baby, by scheduling in time for me to remember myself, by taping all of his sporting events and watching them at 2am, after I've gone to bed.
Pregnant with our second daughter, I kicked him out of our bed so that I could stack an air mattress on top of our regular mattress because it was the only way I could sleep. When Louise was born, he stayed up late with her, already accustomed to being alone on the couch watching tv until he fell asleep.
He's a really good dad and the kind of husband that people call their friends about and say, "Guess what? I met this girl today who said that her husband does the dishes and stays up with the baby and slept on the couch so he wouldn't disturb her sleep when she was pregnant."
He's really, really good.
Except that lately, his goodness has become a kind of pathological unhappiness, and yesterday he walked up the hill from the train after work in the pouring rain, walked in the door all soaking in his buttoned up work clothes, took off his shoes and set his things down and immediately started folding laundry.
I started bawling.
It isn't normal. He barely even eats because he finds carrying bagged lunches on the train depressing and doesn't want to spend money. He never asks for a day or an afternoon or an hour to himself. His work shirts are almost all gray. I cried and cried and cried and told him that I wanted him to be happy.
He believes that he has to be a cog in the middle of our family. He wants us to be happy and comfortable, and so he's been reduced to a task completer. He works and hands me the money. I freak out and throw things away when our house is a mess, so he quietly follows behind me, cutting a hole in my garbage bag and putting things back where they belong. I went crazy after I had both of my babies and my eyes were rimmed in red and I couldn't eat or sleep, so he took the baby out of my hands and told me to go lie down, that he would take care of everything. He doesn't complain, he doesn't get upset. He just quietly goes about our life, making sure that everybody else is okay.
And then one day, we're out at a crappy pizza restaurant because I couldn't muster the nerve to go grocery shopping with the girls, and I look across the table at him, and I can almost see through him. He's holding out a fork with a bite of pizza out to Louise and nodding at a story that Scouty is telling in her indecipherable dragon language, and me? Who knows what I'm doing? Probably hunching over my plate with a string of cheese trailing out of my mouth onto my plate. (I told you that I don't do anything gracefully.)
I look across the table at him, and he's barely touched his food. He's wearing a gray button up shirt and he's tired and pale. He's gotten older and I can't even remember the last time I thought he seemed honestly, for his own reasons, really joyful or happy. I can't remember the last time he seemed excited about something or animated about something. (Admittedly, he is not really an animated sort of person, but still.)
My husband is beautiful and perfect and kind and selfless, and he's not happy.
It's the saddest and most terrible thing I've ever seen.
The worst part is that I'm sure it's my fault.
Instead of allowing myself to dwell on all the times I've been moody and bossy and selfish and terrible and hard to know, which is like... pretty much ALL THE TIME, I'm going to try to find a way to turn it all around. This means I'm abandoning operation juice fast and operation creativity and operation clean house, and focusing all of my resources (which include TWO perfect, sweet-cheeked little girls) and we're starting operation Assist Daddy In Recovering His Will To Live. Also known as, Operation Happy Daddy.
PS. We're taking suggestions.