These questions surfaced when we discussed getting married. He wasn’t working, but he was interested in the Air Force, so he signed up. My parents used his upcoming enlistment to explain why we got married so quickly.
I don’t think anyone believed it. They knew my parents wouldn’t consent to me marrying at seventeen without a stronger reason than that.
So, after the wedding, we lived with his mother until he left for training. I dropped him off that day at the bus station and drove to class, relieved that I could go back to living in my dorm room until the end of the semester. I loved his mother, but living with her presented challenges I never anticipated.
But, that night he came home. He exceeded the Air Force’s restriction on weight by four pounds. They told him to lose the weight and return in a few weeks. We moved back in with his mother who, to my horror, started fattening up her son. If I objected to the quantities of food he ate, they both turned on me.
A sluggard’s appetite is never filled, but the desires of the diligent are fully satisfied. Proverbs 13:4
Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider her ways and be wise. Proverbs 6:6
He never went back, and, eventually, the Air Force sent him discharge papers.
What a mess! What had I gotten myself in to? I couldn’t comprehend his behavior at all.
He slept all day and got up in time for dinner. When I went to bed, he stayed up sketching airplane diagrams and watching late night TV. I urged him to look for a job, and he told me to find one. By Christmas, I was six months pregnant. Not exactly someone a business might hire, especially without any work experience.
His mother resented any efforts I made at cleaning her house, so she hid, yes HID, the cleaning supplies so I wouldn’t try. If she worked second shift, she’d come home around midnight and ask if she needed to fix us dinner. Insulted, I told her we’d eaten, but I wondered what kind of idiot she thought I was. Of course we’d eaten dinner.
The day his mother pulled out an old, battered wash tub and announced, “We’ll bathe the baby in this,” I knew I had to get out of there.
If he wouldn’t work, there were other ways. My grandfather gave each of his grandchildren stock at their birth. I begged my parents to let me sell it. They had the power to say yes or no until I was twenty-one. Over time, I wore them down.
We moved into a small apartment, and I urged him to finish his own education. He had a few classes left at the local tech school, then he would qualify for a decent job.
He went back to school.
Relief washed over me.
If only it could have lasted.