Kiss Me, Will

8.13.07: To the (other) leading man in my life


For the past eight weeks, I've been a single mother. A stage widow.

This summer, Will has been in a community theater production of Kiss Me, Kate, which has had him off to work at the crack of dawn, off to rehearsal straight from work, and home long after the rest of us are fast asleep.

On a good day, weÂ’ve had five minutes together to download information over the din of screeching kids: "I scheduled the septic system appointment and paid the mortgage...oh, and by the way, the dishwasherÂ’s broken, and the dentist called about filling your cavity, and can you do the preschool meeting on Sunday?"

It doesn't make for high romance. And, it doesn't help matters that Will has been playing opposite the most gorgeous, most talented woman on the planet, in these sexy numbers that sizzle on stage, while I'm at home covered in spit-up, wiping baby squash off the floor, folding my fifth load of laundry and feeling weighed down by the last stubborn pounds of pregnancy weight, which seem to have taken up permanent residence around my abdomen, and under my chin.

In some ways, this summer has gone swimmingly. It's actually been much easier than I anticipated flying solo. But then, there are the inevitable evenings when it's been a really long week, and it's 90 degrees in the house, and I'm sweating over the stove as I attempt to make something healthy for dinner, but Charlie is crying, and Julia is having a meltdown, and I'm cleaning up spills and changing diapers and cursing Kiss Me, Kate under my breath while I drag two tired kids up the stairs for baths and bed.

But when the moment passes, I think: "Man, do I have it good." Because even though Will has been physically absent for a good chunk of the summer, I've really been in no way, shape, or form a single mother. Will's been with me emotionally, mentally, financially—backing me up, an ever-present support, whether he's here or not. And of course, there are the weekends, when I can hand the kids over to Will, who always steps up to the plate like a champ.

Still, this summer has had me wondering how all the single mothers out there do it. Managing a job, and a home, and kids, and a life can be a real production sometimes. ItÂ’s hard enough with two parents, let alone one. And, it's not a glamorous job. Most days, you're toiling away behind the scenes. And there are times when you're sick, or exhausted, or just having a bad day, and you can't catch a break, because no matter what, the show must go on. There's no such thing as a dress rehearsal, no script to follow, no understudies waiting in the wings. And when the lights finally go dark, there's no curtain call, no thundering applause, no standing ovation or roses strewn about your feet.

But, maybe there's a hug, a kiss, and a peaceful, sleeping angel who makes you catch your breath and thank your lucky stars.

Last night, the final curtain fell on Kiss Me, Kate, and I can't say that I'm not relieved. Over the moon, really. Because I'm getting my husband back. Because even on the good days, it's just not the same without Will around. I am star-struck over this man, the father of my children, the love of my life. It has been an absolute privilege to stand opposite him in the most important role of my life, as a parent to Charlie and Julia. And while I stood with the rest of the crowd last night and applauded the stunning performance, the amazing show, and the incredible talent, and I hooted and hollered for Will the actor, Will the singer, and Will the performer, it is for Will the husband, Will the father, Will the man, that I would most like to stand and say:

Bravo, my love.

Join's Managing Editor Dana Rousmaniere each week as she chronicles life with a new baby.

Read the next entry: 8.20.07: The Natkus Family Vacation