Yesterday was an unusually productive day. I did eight loads of laundry, cleaned our bathroom, picked up, oh, a gazillion things, organized the Christmas gifts, ironed a dozen shirts, reorganized our closet, and made dinner.
I was feeling proud of myself.
But my husband didn’t notice that I had organized the shoe closet. So I pointed it out to him. I even added “and let’s try to keep it this way” for good measure.
So yes, I was just a tad miffed. It’s hard sometimes when I at home, vacuuming, knowing I’m just as smart as my husband, have just as much education, and yet . . . I’m vacuuming. I tried to make things more equitable when he was helping my son with his English homework last night. Why not he sweep the floor and put away the last load of laundry so I could talk about Tom Sawyer? Of course, being the good sport he is, he quietly got up and took the broom.
Anyway, last night I stumbled upon this quote by writer Marilynne Robinson (Pulitzer Prize winner for the lovely novel Gilead).
“At a certain level housekeeping is a regime of small kindnesses, which, taken together, make the world more salubrious, savory, and warm. I think of the acts of comfort offered and received within a household as precisely sacramental.”
It didn’t even really sink in until today, just what it all meant. Creating order out of chaos, making a delicious cobbler out of soft apples, sorting the laundry– it is rather a holy endeavor. It truly is a regime; a certain kind of discipline is required to strive for cleanliness when there are no deadlines, and when nobody seems to care whether clothes are in their closets or on the floor. Mom cares.
I got to thinking though, it’s not like the captain has it easy either. He commutes work everyday without complaint and stressful days too. He just doesn’t feel that he needs to share every detail of it with me.
This morning, I got up and made a good lunch for my husband. He was so grateful. And so am I, captain. So am I.
One week later: Today I cleaned out the storage room. I told the captain all about it. He still hasn’t looked at it yet, but I know he’s dying to see it. But then to my complete surprise, Ben, my 15-year-old, said, “The storage room looks awesome!” You never know!