I know you’ve had a long day in the office today. It was a long, stressful end to an even longer stressful week. I’m sure you are anxious to get home, kick your feet up on the couch, and begin a quiet weekend full of rest.
Which is why I regretfully must ask you to please avert your eyes from the large pile of unclean dishes on the counter. I know it will be the first thing that greets you as you walk into the kitchen, and yet I ask you to look away. I beg you instead to notice that every floor in this house is swept clean of debris. I ask you to try to recall the boxes that sat in that far corner, and realize they have been unpacked and put away. Even though you can’t see it, imagine the boys’ closets upstairs that have been emptied of summer clothing and refilled with more suitable fall and winter garments from storage. Take a peek upstairs to see all of the unneeded items carefully washed and packed away for children in need. But if you can’t tear your eyes away from the kitchen, maybe you can concentrate on the cabinet doors and floorboards that have been meticulously cleaned for hours.
When you finally leave the kitchen and go back to our room to change into comfortable clothes, you will probably notice that the pile of laundry to be folded and put away has grown taller than our smallest child. It won’t escape your keen eye that the baskets of dirty laundry are all full as well. What you cannot see is the large, pee-soaked comforter that has put a halt to all laundry production in this house with multiple washes and spins. You see, last night, one child was up all night coughing, another had an accident, and a third woke with a nightmare. I was up for hours giving medicine, telling stories and stripping beds, but you were so exhausted you slept right through it.
Having that sick child at home today prevented me from completing a few of the errands you asked me to run at lunchtime. That and the fact that my car has been acting up again. I’m sure you’ve been contemplating the cost of those repairs as you battle through treacherous Friday traffic. You probably don’t want to hear that it is the reason I stayed home today instead of venturing out with the two babies and the sick kiddo to buy the dish soap I forgot to purchase yesterday on my own way home from work. It probably will just sound like an excuse to let the dishes pile up so shamefully high.
Yet, I ask you to give me grace today. When you finally walk in so weary and I run immediately out to complete these errands you surely believe should have been done well in advance, I ask you to hold your tongue. Because, despite what you might think, I had a very productive day. And I don’t say this to in any way diminish the day you’ve had at the office. I’ll bet the people you manage came to you all day for guidance and solutions, and I’ll admit, most of my human resource issues today could easily be solved just by loudly counting to three…and yet, this afternoon alone, I’ve wiped more butts, heard more crying and broken up more fights than you will in your entire career. And let me assure you that even though our home has a couch, a bed, a toilet and a television, I haven’t used a single one of these amenities all day.
I am genuinely thankful and proud of the way you support our family. I notice and deeply admire the unending hours you work for others to make sure we have the life we enjoy. And today, after this long and productive day, I ask that if you cannot appreciate the contribution I make to this home, please just smile and pretend. Because your mood when you walk through the door will determine the mood of our household for the next two days, and I believe we are both in desperate need of a peaceful weekend. Choose well, dear husband.
PS: While aggressively dusting, I might have broken one of the slats on the venetian blinds. Or that might have been one of the kids. Depends on your mood.
All my love,
Your adoring wife