Tonight was like every other night. I cooked dinner when the boys were napping. They woke up, we ate, we walked the dog, we played, we went through the bath time routine. I tucked the boys into bed. I cleaned the kitchen. Quick tidy up on the house and toys. Finally, I made my way back to the master bathroom so I could take a quick shower and get in bed.
On my way, I’m quietly laughing at the thought of my own bedtime routine. I don’t leave much time to take care of myself. I long for a skincare routine before bed every night, but I’m lucky if I get to shower. So like all nights, I’m feeling pretty sorry for myself. Especially on the nights when my husband is on shift. He’s a firefighter, so he lives two to three days of the week at the fire station, leaving the mundane, everyday life and routine on my shoulders.
Yeah, I guess it’s safe to say I’m feeling pretty sorry for myself.
But tonight, tonight is different. Because as I walk into my bathroom full of self-pity, I notice a large, single footprint on the bath rug. My husband’s footprint left there from his shower this morning before he went to work. This sole footprint made it throughout our crazy day with two boys and a dog running around, in almost perfect condition.
And as I jumped in the shower, I kept staring through the door at it. It was kind of beautiful. You see, it hit me so hard how thankful I am for that footprint.
I started thinking about the what-ifs. What if my husband didn’t come home from this tour. Or from a future tour. What if that was the last footprint my husband ever left on our bath mat.
Oh, how I started to cherish that footprint. How thankful I am for that beautiful, strong, hard-working man.
He left that footprint at six in the morning while we all slept. I’m sure he was trying to be quiet so as to not wake the baby sleeping in the crib next to me. After that 6 a.m. shower, he kissed me on the forehead, gathered his clothes and food for a few days, and took off to provide for us.
Man, at that point, I was in tears because of this wonderful footprint. The footprint completely changed my attitude from feeling sorry for myself to feeling sorry for not appreciating this life and that man more. For not showing him how much I love him and appreciate him every second of every day.
What a wake-up call this footprint was. I was a tad bit sad after my shower, knowing that life would wipe away that footprint and I would lose my reminder to be grateful. But now, it’s got me thinking, got me looking. Looking around the house, around life, for those small but mighty reminders to be present, to be grateful, to be happy.