This morning I loaded all seven of my kids, all age 12 and under, into my van and delivered 4/7 of them to school 40 minutes away (exactly ONE minute before the bell rang – WINNING!). The littles and I made our way home – the four year old asking at least 43 questions per minute, the three year old angry because he dropped Wall-E on the floor for the nineteenth time, and the baby crabby because she woke up late and didn’t have a chance to stretch her little legs before being strapped into her car seat for the drive. My day was already off to a rough start (I had less than one whole cup of coffee on board), and I was low on patience and grace.
Once I had all of the wee-folk inside the house and occupied, I started my morning routine of going room to room, gathering cups, snack bowls, and dirty laundry that hadn’t made its way to the proper place before we left. By the time I had reached the last bedroom, my arms were full; we had rushed through both our evening and morning pickup routines. Thankfully, the only addition to my pile courtesy of the three year old’s room was … a pair of my husband’s socks.
Wait – what? I expect the kids to miss the hamper occasionally (always), but my 38-year-old husband has had years to get with the program. Surely I’m not asking too much – I do laundry, dishes, vacuuming, and cooking for 9 people, day in and day out. I nurse the baby morning, noon, and all night. I’m tired, frustrated, and overwhelmed by the sheer amount of work necessary to keep this ship running smoothly, and he couldn’t even bother to put his dirty pair of socks into the laundry hamper. My mind went straight from slightly aggravated to full on beast mode, and I stormed out of the room, fully intending to send him a nastygram.
As I rounded the corner into the kitchen, I remembered the previous evening’s chaos. I had the baby on one hip, was vacuuming with the opposite hand, and had dinner cooking and needing immediate attention while kids ran to and fro playing Star Wars and fairy princess and Lord knows what else. My husband had walked in the door to this daunting scene, and what had he done? He’d kissed me “hello”, taken the baby from my arms, and led the three year old back to his room to play Thomas so that I could finish making dinner. He hadn’t taken the time to relax after a mentally exhausting day at work, hadn’t checked his email, or hidden in the bathroom. He’d HELPED me. Taking those socks off of his sore feet while enjoying the time playing with the littles in their room had been the ONLY selfish step he’d taken after walking in the door, and here I was, vilifying him for it.
Instead of sending him an angry text about socks that hadn’t reached the hamper, I typed, “I love you <3”, and put those socks in their place, all the while praising God for giving me a husband who was willing to show me grace in my weakest times.