Today, I'd like to share a story of how I modeled patience and composure in the face of "adversity" on a family trip last week. First, you should know I have been married to my wife, Mary, for twenty-four years. We met the first day of college, and were a couple without children for the first seven years of our marriage. She's my best friend and we love being with one another. I love that our daughters get to see this. Also, I'm a bit of a germophobe.
Last week, we took our two girls (12 and 17) and a friend each on a road trip: Universal Studios, a tour of UC Irvine, then a couple of nights in Palm Springs. When I'm at home I brush with one of those electric Sonicare brushes, but when we travel I generally bring a regular toothbrush. I keep it in a zipper plastic bag, but I don't like to use it and put it back in the bag. I feel as though if I zip it up wet, the moisture will make any bacteria grow rapidly, making my next brushing a mouth full of bristles, toothpaste and germs.
So, on our last night in Palm Springs, I get up early and brush my teeth, leaving my brush on the bag in order for it to dry before I pack it for our trip back home. I spend the quiet morning checking my emails and reading as everyone else in our party sleeps.
Eventually, people slowly wipe the sleep from their eyes. Showers are taken. Pajamas are exchanged for outfits for the drive home. I'm pretty much packed, just need to throw my toiletries together and I'll be good. I enter the bathroom only to find Mary brushing her teeth... with my brush!
"What are you doing?!" I ask.
"Brushing my teeth," Mary garbles with a mouthful of Crest.
"With my brush?" I respond.
She looks at the brush, then shrugs and says, "Sorry, I didn't notice." So, what does this mean?
1. Although I love my wife, there are a few things we just don't do: fart in front of one another, poop while the other is taking a shower, and use each other's toothbrush. So, she crossed that line and got her plaque bacteria on my brush.
2. Since she hadn't noticed, I wonder how many other times on this trip had she used my brush and I was unaware. And,
3. Now, my brush was wet and I couldn't zip it in a bag for fear of accelerating the regeneration of her mouth germs on my brush.
Here's the parenting part: although she broached an area that we have always avoided, I laughed it off, and made a big joke out of it in front of the girls. And, really, it was rather funny. It's just my own idiosyncrasy. I mean, I kiss the woman for goodness sake. My girls got to see how we can have fun in situations that could escalate in a direction that could turn ugly.
And, you may wonder what I did about the wet brush... I used the hotel hair dryer and stuffed the brush in the bag and off to home we headed.
image courtesy of ©MorgueFile.com/ronnieb