I have been dying to post this ever since it happened. Here is this week’s column, and possibly the best mommy memory of my life.
“You know, sometimes there’s nothing like a good undeserved pity party to brighten a girl’s mood. Like when you stand around thinking about how much they’ll all miss you if you get hit by a bus, or die from a case of lethal Mastitis.
As a disclaimer, I’ve got to say that since number four has come along, my man has really stepped up his game. When he’s home, he’s my right hand. It feels good to depend on him and know that he’s willing to take a turn with the baby at 4 am when she’s ready to be social. He’ll change any poopy diaper in the house, take the kids twilight hiking just to give me some space, pick up dinner if I’m freaking out–I have no complaints, only compliments.
That’s the logical response. But we all know that I’m neither logical, nor particularly careful with my responses these days, so I’m going to go ahead and tell you how ungrateful and horrible I am.
Last night my man had to miss dinner for work. Unfortunately I had a houseful of company over and kind of wanted him here, but an undisclosed work situation detained him. I smiled and played supportive, knowing he well deserves a good, understanding wife.
Tonight was a repeat situation, only this time he got held up an extra hour and a half with the Scouts. They were doing a Ropes Course and it took longer than expected. The other leaders all had to leave, so Jason stayed so the boys could finish. Good, honorable servant of the People.
Me? The last two nights have wiped me out. Not only did I throw a dinner party for nearly a dozen people last night (WHAT WAS I THINKING??), but tonight was equally difficult. Stuck at the soccer field, both baby girls stinky, the five-year-old ready to do a number in his own pants, me far from the car and further from home–by the time we walked in the door all Hell had broken loose and was doing the Bunny Hop on my kitchen counter. I spent an hour listening to my starving baby scream her head off while I tried to feed and bathe and bed down the tribe. Tragic.
As I finally made my way back to the kitchen, I suddenly thought of my husband, with his big secret fancy job, and his “service” calling that consisted of things like water skiing and rock climbing. In a fit of angst, I turned to my seven-year-old, Harrison.
“You know,” I said, “Just be glad you’re a boy, because that means you get to grow up and be a dad, not a mom.”
“Why’s it better to be a dad?” he asked.
“Because dad’s get to have cool jobs, and drive cool cars, and go hiking and have fun. Mom’s? Mom’s don’t get to do anything.”
“Well, why don’t you just go with dad?”
“Who’s going to take care of the kids? Who’s going to clean the house? No, mom’s get to stay home and work.”
(Yes, I’m a horrible person.)
I stomped around the kitchen, furiously wiping counters and trying to keep from crying.
“Mom?” I heard my boy say, “Would you teach me how to do the dishes?”
I spun around and looked at my little seven-year-old, standing at the sink looking up at me with nothing short of concerned love all over his face. “And maybe the laundry? I could do laundry…”
And in that instant, I knew there wasn’t a job on this Earth that could take me away from these children. My poor sweet husband, away at work, missing out on all the love. Because that’s what I saw, looking into my child’s eyes, love. Love for me and my chosen profession, enough to tie me to this wonderful bit of life for as long as the Lord will let me live it.
Thank you, Heaven, for dirty dishes.”