Wednesday, March 12, 2008

An Unequal Partnership

This past weekend, it snowed. From Friday afternoon through Saturday evening. It was one of the rare occasions where the forecasted snowstorm actually turned out to be worse than expected.

Luckily, we weren't traveling anywhere. We canceled most of our social plans and holed up for most of the weekend. Finally, Sunday afternoon, we had to dig out in preparation for going to work on Monday morning. The only problem: Keith also had to run 20 miles on Sunday morning.

Trooper that he is, he actually ran 20 miles on the treadmill my dad loaned us. He would much rather be running outside, but that just wasn't going to happen. So he ran and ran and ran in the basement, and I suited up and headed outside to shovel.

I've actually had a hard time admitting to anyone that I shoveled snow. I'm expecting to get a reaction like I had a bottle of wine or ate sushi. Of course, being the careful person I am I had already checked with the doctor who told me I could indeed shovel snow, as long as it wasn't too heavy.

In this case, that meant it took me about 6 shovelfuls to get to the bottom of the snowpile on the driveway. But even though I was slow, it was important to me that I do what I could because Keith was already going to be running for more than 3 hours. Then, to come outside and shovel heavy snow for the same amount of time? That's just insane.

And 3 hours is about what it took to clear the driveway. We each worked for about an hour and a half, although I think Keith still got more accomplished in his time than I did in mine. I worked for a while, then came inside to take a break, get a snack ..... I went back outside and worked for another hour, but couldn't go any longer than that. I came back inside, collapsed on the loveseat, and took a half-hour nap.

It made me realize that, from now through July, our partnership is going to become more and more unequal. I'm used to doing everything together. We shovel snow or wash dishes or clean the house side-by-side. I think the equality of our relationship is one of its best features, and something that will help get us through difficult times.

But, right now, equality just isn't going to happen. Keith can't grow a baby. And I can't run for 3 hours or shovel two feet of snow from the driveway. It's hard for me to accept this inequality, even temporarily. It also makes me wonder how our partnership will change once the baby arrives, and our lives are turned upside down. Will we still be able to work side-by-side? Even if we're working equally, but in different places, I would miss the camaraderie of actually working together.

No comments: