So tonight is my last night as a non-Vicar’s wife.
Tucked up in bed at 9.30pm, challenging myself to write a few thoughts in half an hour (yeah right!) before the madness begins… I wonder if there’s some kind of rite of passage that I’m missing out on here? Like, should I be baking space cakes in L plates and cutting the heads off flowers?!
No. You’re right. Probably not.
But it does feel weird.
For this week, well, things just got weird. Weird and, you know… Anglican.
On Thursday morning Husband was whisked off by a car pool of fellow about-to-be-ordained bachelors, for a kind of prayerful, reflective stag party- complete with teaching! He is still there now. In fact, the next time I will see him will be when a lot of you do… tomorrow morning. At the Cathedral, walking down the aisle in a dress and a collar, ready to commit the rest of his life to The Church.
And this, my friends, is weird.
It’s weird because we do everything together. Husband, because he’s a softie and a born team leader- and also as camp as Christmas- largely envisages his life and ministry as a bizarre, Churchy sequel to High School Musical. (Except, of course, in his dream he’s more of a late-20’s Hugh Grant than a teenage Zac Efron…) “We’re all in this together!” he tells me- (and his supervisors, and his curacy panel and his Training Incumbant)- “We are a team.” (WHAT TEAM?! Ack. He got me. Hopeless.)
Now, to some extent, of course, he’s right. We have moved here together, to the place we prayed about, discerned and interviewed for, together. We have ideas and visions of the ways we might minister here together; how we might use our home and skills, both individual and combined. To some extent, we fully intend on serving together, and so it is very, very strange to be so physically and geographically separated for three whole days before this begins. However, to another extent, of course, he’s also wrong. Because, unlike him, I get to opt in and out of whichever parts of this calling I choose. I get to put family first one hundred percent of the time. I get to skip church, bake space cakes and cut the heads off flowers whenever I feel like it. (I mean I hope I don’t, but I could!) I get to walk around the streets incognito, without a possible target around my neck. And if he were to pass away, I would cease to be a Vicar’s wife (and have nothing to do with conducting a funeral!) But after tomorrow, no matter what happens to the rest of us; he will always be an ordained minister.
So… No. To a very, very large extent, the weight of this calling is all on him. In which case, though it’s weird, I get it. He needs the time and space to go into this as a completely separate individual.
Which in itself is also weird.
I mean, people do marriage in different ways. Each to their own. But we haven’t been completely separate individuals for seven and a half years. Even before the kids, we attempted to do a combined total of one month apart for separate work trips and… we couldn’t hack it. The adventures were incredible, once in a lifetime opportunities… But we decided they were the last. So, again; to think of him undertaking such a massive, life changing commitment on his own, without me at his side even the night before it happens… That is also weird.
It’s weird… But, once more… I have to say I get it.
I get it because actually, while I love him and support him and help him where my gifts fill his gaps… I’m also a liability. I hate mornings. I’m impractical. I prioritise the wrong things under pressure. The one time I managed to get both me and the kids ready in time for his placement preaching service, I got distracted making toy swords out of tinfoil, lost the car keys and still had him running late and sweating. I don’t calm chaos; I exude it. Ain’t nobody got time for that!
So, this week has been so sad and strange without him around, especially in the build up to such a big day. But… on Thursday night, as Tinker and I woke every hour to simultaneously vomit into the same bucket… And on Saturday, as the same poor child cartwheeled down the stairs entangled around an ill-fitted stairgate… And tonight, as I sit blogging when I should definitely be sleeping… I think, for his sake- and that of the Church- thank goodness he’s not here, dealing with this!
This week has been weird (and gross and painful!)… But my goodness… I totally get it.