Day 55: Giving You a Break

November 23, 2011

Sometimes, getting you to take a break from our kids is like getting a cat to take a bath: neither happens without a struggle. On day 51, I tried to give you some time to relax without them but you wanted us to all go out together. That was fine, but breaks are good on occasion. Well, last night, I strongly encouraged you to take one.

When I came home from work, I asked you if you wanted to go read at Starbucks while I watched the kids for a while. Even though you thought it was a great idea and you hugged me for suggesting it, you said, “That’d be fun, but not tonight.” After much conversation, you agreed to staying home and doing something, while I took the girls out somewhere. Before we went out, I looked after the kids while you took a shower. (An uninterrupted shower is actually a big deal when you have three kids under 5.) You came down from your shower and said “Wow, that break was great. Why don’t we all stay together tonight?” “I think you really need this, honey,” I said “You’re right, I do. Okay, take the girls out.” But even as I walked out the door with our kids, you asked if I could leave just one. Eventually, though, I made it out the door with all three kids. We bought soft serve ice cream and hung out. After about an hour, we came home. You loved your break! You made yourself some popcorn and read from Kipling’s The Jungle Book. You looked refreshed.

Later that night, I tried some funny business–I asked you if you’d do the dishes for me, with this thought in my head “Certainly she’ll do it. Look what I did for her earlier.” You said you’d do them, but that you couldn’t get to them until the morning (which was true). “I guess I’ll do them,” I said. As I washed the dishes, I struggled to gain the right perspective on the matter. I know that I should give without expecting to receive, and that by expecting something from you in return, my act wasn’t completely selfless. I pray that God makes me willing to give you everything, even my life, without expecting anything from you in return. I think that the key to loving you in that way is being most satisfied in God (see day 49).