Garbage Night

I took the garbage out this morning.

Rob is out of town, so I had to take out the garbage.

This is a big deal for me.

I married Rob because he takes out the garbage.(Don’t worry – he knows this).

When I got divorced, taking out the garbage was a very painful process. It was a constant reminder of the fact that I was alone. Every week it had to be done. And it was a pain to do. The garbage bins were in the backyard and had to be wheeled around the side of the house down the narrow pathway to the curb.

The problem was winter.

To get them down the narrow path, I had to shovel the sometimes 20 feet (ok I exaggerate – but it was a lot) of snow. And that was a huge pain. I would work all day, pick the boys up from daycare and then do the dinner, bath, bedtime thing. Finally, I would then finish up my notes for the day and be ready to head to bed.

Then I would remember it was garbage day the next day. It drove me absolutely crazy! So, I would bundle up, start shovelling and finally get the garbage to the curb. It sometimes took awhile.

One night I thought I would try to do it a bit earier. I parked the boys in front of the TV (bad Mom I know) and told them I was taking the garbage out.

Of course, I failed to realize that the boys did not know how long it would take me.

I did the usual routine, and then came in exhausted from the whole process only to find two very,very,very (and I mean very) hysterical boys (they were 3 and 4.5 at the time). Zach was almost fully dressed in his snow gear, tears streaming down his face and hyperventilating, struggling to get Josh (also a mess) in his snow gear too.

They saw me and started crying even more. I immediatey burst into tears too – not really knowing what was going on but knowing that something was wrong.

Turns out they thought I had left them. (Suffice it to say my boys had/have major abandonment issues).

They thought I had left them.

I was devastated that these sweet boys had this fear – which caused them to have this reaction.

They were getting dressed to try to come and find me.

After that, garbage night became a huge issue. I could not do it when they were awake as it triggered instantaneous hysteria (despite my reassurances). Light sleeper Zach would instantaeously wake up if he heard the door open soon after they went to bed. So, I had to wait until very very late and keep coming inside to check on them; which made garbage night a very long and late night.

It was a relief when the snow melted I tell you.

But I was on my own for a few winters and this event scarred me (and them, I’m sure). It still brings tears to my eyes everytime I think of it as it represents all the emotional pain my boys have endured.

So taking out the garbage is a pretty triggering event.

When I married Rob, I told him he had to take over the task of taking out the garbage. He obliged (have I ever mentioned what a good man he is)? It has become a joke – that I married him because he takes out the garbage.

But this week, Rob was away, so I had to take out the garbage.

Last night, I grumbled about it. Zach overheard me complaining about it and said “What’s the big deal Mom? What did you do before Rob? Didn’t you take out the garbage at our old house”?

Yes Zach, I did. Every week. Glad you don’t seem to remember.

So I haven’t taken the garbage out in a long time. Maybe even a couple of years? But I did it this morning and it was fine. And the boys were fine. And I thought back to the distant memory of that night. Although still fresh in my mind, it is now a distant memory.

I felt very blessed rolling that bin down the side of our house (different house, but same routine!). I am married to an amazing man, who takes the garbage out…and a whole lot more:). My two sons were totally fine with me taking the garbage out. And taking the garbage out was really not that big of a deal to me either. That is major progress.

Now, I just can’t wait for Rob to come home. I miss him so much:(

But he still is on garbage duty.


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