I like to make things easy for people.
My husband and my children may say otherwise. And maybe a select handful of friends. Perhaps my sisters. And maaaybe some of my work colleagues.
But in general, I try to make other people’s lives easier.
I recently had to run errands on a Sunday. Since I barely get out of the house ever, my errands were extensive and would take several hours. I was nervous about leaving my husband home with the kids because three boys separated by only three and a half years always ends badly if the kids are not occupied.
I questioned my husband’s ability to entertain them because he was so tired from working like a crazy person recently at his regular job and in taking the lead on our search for a new house. He has spent hours researching easements, talking with stucco inspectors and comparing real estate taxes.
But he is a structural engineer and I did birth three children, so I think this is a fair division of labor.
But all the same, I didn’t want to overwhelm him on this particular day with the kids. They are formidable even on their best behavior (which I think I have witnessed a total of three times).
I wanted to make things easier for my husband. So I planned to take Charlie and Max with me on my errands and to go while Luke was napping. And in turn, I thought to myself, in turn Court will want to make things easier for me!
He will recognize my incredibly selfless gesture and respond in kind. He will notice the baskets of unfolded laundry and put away every last pair of Marvel underwear. He will remember that unwashed dishes give me anxiety and take care of them while I’m gone. And while he’s at it, he’ll make a week’s worth of lunches for the boys. Maybe he’ll even start reorganizing the pantry like we’ve been talking about doing for months now.
I have so much free time, he’ll think to himself, because my loving and considerate wife has taken two of our children–the two most difficult ones– with her to run errands which will add at least an hour to the trip. It will not be a relaxing afternoon for her, so I want her to feel good when she gets home.
But things did not go exactly as planned because Luke’s nap was significantly shorter than usual. He was awake by the time I left.
No problem, I thought to myself. Luke is our good child. He can entertain himself while Court does all of the things he is going to do to make my life easier. Maybe he will even have Luke help him, so that Luke can grow up to be the kind of man who likes to make things easier for his wife!
I pinned Charlie and Max down and successfully put on their shoes and jackets. I said goodbye to Luke and reminded him to listen to his father. I gave Court a quick peck and said nothing, because there was nothing to say. Not only did he know what I was thinking, he already knew what job he was going to tackle first.
Heading out the door — holding Max and Charlie by the hoods of their jackets so they didn’t bolt past the car and run down the street — this is the last thing I heard:
Court: “Okay, Luke, it’s time to take a nap.”
Luke: “But Papi– I already took one!”
Court: “Well now you get to take one with me!”
Needless to say, the dishes were still in the sink when I got home three hours later.
But to be fair, Court did eventually do them. While I folded the laundry.