Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Love's Labor

     Over all we have a fairly traditional division of labor at house.  Bryan mows the grass and does small plumbing repairs.  I mop the floors and clean those same toilets.  (We're not militant about it.  Our daughter mows and installs dead bolts.  Our son does laundry and dishes every day.)  We didn't plan it out on paper, but as we developed our rhythms of living together we each have certain traditional tasks we perform and some that we do together.  If Bryan is home and I'm cooking dinner, he's almost always in the kitchen.  He's not a great cook, but he's a fine sous chef and a good dish washer as well.  But he finds his way to the kitchen because I'm there and even after fifteen years of marriage we still enjoy being in the same room.
     Every once in a while I like to surprise him.  I wrangle the mower out from behind the bikes in the shed and mow the lawn when it's a little long and I know it's been bothering him.  Or when he's overwhelmed at work and comes home exhausted all week and the bank statements show up, I'll balance the checkbook for him.  If I have the ability and the skill, and extra time in my day, I like to show a little love and bear the burdens of life with him.  He'll do the same for me.  I'm the laundry folder here, but when he sees three baskets of unfolded clothes it's a visual cue that I'm overwhelmed and without being asked he'll help me out.  Or there was one afternoon I was gone and asked if he and Ally would start pizza.  I came home to rowdy music, pizza started, toppings all chopped, kitchen counters completely cleaned off, and he was moving appliances and cleaning underneath them (I'm still impressed).  It's love, a kind of love willing to sacrifice a little free time for the sake of the other.
     Now don't get hung up on the specifics.  No excuses like "I'm allergic to grass and can't mow" or "I haven't balanced a checkbook once in my life."  Do the work of applying this to your own life.  I'm going to recommend taking time to do something for your husband (or parents - if you're not married) that normally isn't your job.  Not all the time, then it would be your job, not theirs.  Just once in a while.  Even if your husband isn't the kind of man to do it for you, you can still be that kind of woman.  Say without words, "I love you enough to inconvenience myself.  I love you til it hurts."

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