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My oldest is pregnant with her first child so when I saw this video on Facebook I had to share it to her wall.  I thought it was hilarious.

The kids wanted to know why mom was laughing so hard at the computer screen, so I gladly replayed it.  We all shared the chuckle.  Thinking it was over, I stopped it as it went to the very last part.  Our curiosity was peaked, so we watched it again, laughing the entire time, eagerly waiting for that last frame that I’d prematurely stopped.

The part we’d missed the first time was of the young mother saying, “I don’t want to finish this because I don’t want anyone to ever see it.”

I can’t remember what was said that prompted me to answer my 13 year old by saying, “Yeah, if she didn’t end up divorced over that! ”

He replied, “Yeah, her husband probably wouldn’t forgive her for that. ”

I stood there for a minute thinking, “What is he talking about? ” I brushed it off as E just saying something random in order to participate in a conversation, and I walked back to my bedroom to finish folding clothes.  As I picked up a white towel and folded it over upon itself the light came on in my head.

“E?” I hollered into the kitchen, “When you said that her husband probably wouldn’t forgive her….what did you mean?  Do you think that she and a friend probably made that video?  Do you think her husband would be so embarrassed by her silliness that he would divorce her over it?”

He beamed.  Communication is difficult for him, and I got it!  His meaning had been understood.

It broke my heart.

I thought back to all of the times I’d been looked at with disgust when I acted silly. I thought about the times the kids and I got in trouble for laughing.  No one was allowed to crack jokes but my husband, and everyone was required to laugh at his humor although it was usually just vulgar.

One summer day my oldest two children washed the dishes together, playing in the suds and laughing.  The work was getting done.  Those two had always been hard workers.  They did the job and did the job right.

But, the laughter abruptly ceased, and harsh yelling took its place.  I ran to see what in the world had happened.  I rounded the corner to see my oldest son, then 12, bent completely backward over the kitchen counter.  He looked like he would break in half.  His eyes were round with fear of death.  My daughter stood shaking and crying.  My husband stood over top my son, accusing the children of mocking him.  They pleaded and swore they hadn’t, but he claimed that he’d heard them when he walked past.

The New Years after we found out about my dad’s son from his affair, my brother and I decided it would be funny to call Daddy and harass him a little.  Daddy had spent a few years in Korea and Japan in the ’50s, so, with my best broken Asian accent, I asked, “You my papasan?  You no see my mamasan loonnnnngggg time.”  My dad laughed hysterically, and my brother and I erupted into hysterics ourselves, falling on the floor.  R jumped to his feet and began yelling at the older children to take the younger ones upstairs.  “Mom is out of control!  I don’t want the kids to see this!”

I stepped into the kitchen, close to E.  I said, “Hon, most men don’t get mad at their wives for acting silly.  I assume that girl’s husband was the one taking the video.  He probably thought she was cute.  He’s probably the one who thought it was so awesome that it was worth sharing with the world.  I meant she might have divorced him for showing everyone something she didn’t want anyone to see.”

He listened intently and said, “Ooohhhhh,” as though I was teaching him a beautiful foreign language.

My tender child didn’t realize that a man might actually enjoy seeing his wife act goofy.  He didn’t realize that a husband could perceive that behavior as endearing.  He’s a teenager, and the worldview and belief system he has been spoon fed is that women should be silent, sexy, cooking, and cleaning, always subservient.  A woman full of expression, personality, and passion would be an embarrassment, something to throw away, instead of valued as a gift to be enjoyed.