First of all, yesterday was Father's Day. It was a nice day with four of our six children able to be here for the occasion. My parents also came and we had a nice dinner. The dads were loved on and fed well and it was a good day.
My husband and I have six children. Our youngest son, who has been away for the summer, was home for the week. We also have another college-age son who lives at home. We have four daughters. Two of them live in town and the other two live out of state. Three of our four girls are married and we are expecting our first grandchild in November! That is pretty much our family in a nutshell.
Now lets crack open that nut and let me explain a couple of things before I get to the point of this post.
One thing you have to know about my husband is that he is a rather task oriented kind of guy. He is hard working for sure. Relationships are something you do after the work is done. I am totally opposite. If the relationships are going well, then I get some work done. If someone needs tending, then by all means drop everything and worry about work later. Needless to say, my husband and I are quite opposite, but that is probably good for a balanced life.
Now for the point. I hope you're ready for this. I am about to explain to you what I call,
"THE TOILET PAPER THEORY"
Basically, it goes like this: Moms are like toilet paper and dads are the toilet paper roll. Here is the evidence to support this theory.
1) When is the last time you really gave any thought about toilet paper? We all use it every day and it is always around. Common stuff, that toilet paper. However, if you are honest in your answer you'd probably say that the only time you think about toilet paper is when you need it and it's not there! Moms are around a lot and yet we don't really notice her unless she's not around and we need her for something. Then it becomes an emergency!
2) We all know what we do with toilet paper and its various practical uses. Same for moms. She takes all your crap and loves you anyway. She can even multitask just like the toilet paper.
3) Good toilet paper has several layers and is soft against our skin. Moms are usually a soft place to land when the business of life gets to us. She can be counted on to lend an ear or a helping hand, whichever is needed.
4) A roll of toilet paper is comprised mostly of the paper. Only occasionally do we see the roll in comparison with the actual paper. A toilet paper roll can be used for making a pretend telescope or used in a craft project to build a rocket or some fun toy. Granted, without the toilet paper roll the paper would be in a heap on the floor. That roll is a vital component for sure. So are dads. Moms are usually around a lot more than dads. She is usually the more commonplace part of the day. Dads often show up for the fun stuff like watching your ball game or playing a quick game of Mother May I on the front porch before dinner. His presence is usually more occasional than mom with all of his responsibilities outside the home. It's a good thing dads do what they do or the quality of our lives would be a mess.
Having said all this, I have noticed so many times how I can put hours and hours and hours (and more hours) of time and energy into listening to a child with a problem or having a late-night chat about big decisions for the future. In comparison, my husband can literally walk through the room (not even stopping to sit down or make eye contact for that matter) and say ONE SENTENCE and my girls just gush about how amazing and wonderful he is. (What am I, toilet paper? I just sat here for 2 hours and gave you my undivided attention. He's been back there watching TV!).
Just yesterday my youngest son received a birthday card from me and my husband. We each wrote a personal note. I put a good deal of thought and time into saying just the perfect thing. My husband maybe spent less than 2 minutes and wrote his part. My son must have liked it because when he opened the card he said, "Oh Dad, how sweet! Aww. I love you!" and on and on. To my husband's credit, he said, "What about your mom?" My son said, "Oh, she says that stuff all the time." (toilet paper!)
One final example is that last year I planned a trip out of town to visit my newly married youngest daughter. It just so happens that my second daughter's birthday was going to occur during my absence. Second daughter was just flabbergasted that I'd leave town when it was her birthday (she was turning 26!). I offered to have the celebration before leaving town or after my return. Not. the. same. I was told. It was sweet that she wanted me there for her special day and believe me I'll never do that again. Somehow, though, I think her dad would have gotten a pass if he had something going on (if the toilet paper is not there when we need it then it becomes a national emergency!).
So what is the Italian connection here? Oh, believe me! I've got one for you.
One in three Italian men sees his mother every day. Seven out of ten unmarried men over 35 live with their parents. The average Italian son spends around 15 minutes a day with his father as opposed to more time with mom because of all the fussing she does over her children, boys in particular since they often live with their parents well into adulthood. In Italy you don't EVER criticize someone's mother, no matter how intrusive and annoying she is (Marie Barone just passed through my mind). In Italy, mothers are somewhat of a holy figure.
All said and done, I guess I don't really mind living my toilet paper mother lifestyle. I like it when my children love on my husband and appreciate him. Being a mom to my children has been awesome and I like it that they are independent (that means I'm probably not Italian). I don't really need them to fuss over me all the time. I know they love me.
So hang in there moms. Squeeze your inner Charmin!
And by the way.....you're not gonna believe this (and I'm not lying)...
I'm out of toilet paper!