Parallel Treadmills

Here is what I was trying to explain to Murphy as he and I were hanging out on the porch, waiting for Seymour to arrive for their Hot Chess Date:

I told Murphy that I was glad he and Seymour were going to go have fun, that I was worried about Seymour's exhaustion level, and that my poor partner hadn't allowed anything for himself in the past few weeks except maybe two or three bike rides.

Murphy said, "But what about you? Aren't you exhausted too?"

That's not the point, I told him. We were talking about Seymour, not me. My partner and I might be tired for the same set of reasons, but we're not in a competition, we shouldn't be compared to each other. Thinking that way leads straight to Hell, or at least a good long pit stop in Purgatory. New or anticipatory parents, beware.

We share the parenting work. We watch each other's backs. We trade sleeping in on weekend mornings. We grouch at each other about menial tasks and who needs to do the least pleasant of them. But, I think and hope, we listen to each other without bringing out the scales each time.

Except during the morning before-school panic hour. Then all bets are off.

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