Guess what I got for Christmas?
A brown duck chore jacket!
Over the past year, I have accumulated a new pair of bib coveralls, a new pair of Muck boots, and now a new duck jacket. I am excited to announce that I now feel prepared to do whatever it takes to keep up with my boys (all three of them).
Those of you who know The Husband know that to spend time with him is to work with him. I am often faced with a choice: I could stay indoors and sulk about how I wish he would quit working and come inside with me or I could go outside and work alongside him. (Usually this involves me watching, talking, and lending an occasional hand.) In all fairness, it's not always work work. Sometimes it's play work, which is his version of fun. Think building a snow sled from 2x4's and sheet metal, tinkering with a go cart that might run someday, rebuilding the motor of a classic truck, etc. The truth is that it is more awkward for him to stay indoors and "do nothing" with me than it is for me to go outdoors in 20-degree weather (or 100-degree weather, for that matter) and watch him work.
For the majority of my last ten years of marriage, I wore secondhand (honestly more like third- or fourth-hand) holey mens' coveralls with the red lining showing through in the funniest places. During this time, I also employed a heavy pair of steel-toe boots that went through all The Husband's brothers before I inherited them. This worked because I could throw them on, be warm, and not worry about getting dirty. But they were a bit uncomfortable. And worn out.
Last year for Christmas, The Husband and the boys bought me a pair of Walls insulated bibs. The best feature is that they are made for women! The logo is embroidered in pink. I dreamed of my own pair of Muck boots for years before I got my own during the tornado cleanup this year. I wear one pair of socks. I can slosh through mud, snow, a creek. No problem. My feet will be toasty and dry. Now that I own a pair, no other boot will measure up.
I am a wimp. But I finally realized that if I have the right gear, I don't have to be near as tough! If there are a pair of Muck boots sitting beside the door and a tough jacket hanging on the hook, I don't have to go through the 30-minute to one-hour process of finding the steel-toes, layering a few pairs of socks, bundling into layers of clothing, and deciding which jacket I don't mind destroying, by which time The Husband has already done a day's work and I have missed out on the fun.
The Husband is good about planning to be "mine" occasionally. But,
alas, the best fun is wont to surprise us when our expectations are not
high. The unplanned everyday stuff usually makes for better memories than the planned fun. My Mucks are by the front door. My coveralls and jacket are hanging in the closet. I plan to be ready at a moment's notice.