Thursday, August 7, 2008

Okay, I Get It!

I never understood why men complained when women rearranged the furniture. I mean, in most cases the wife does it while the husband is not at home anyway. I know that's the way I do it. I could use his muscle, but I don't want his input. Neither do I want him moving something so I can see how it looks and then refusing to move it back when I change my mind. So I use my boys for furniture moving because they still have to obey me. But I digress.
So if they don't have to actually physically move the furniture, what's the problem? Rearranging gives us a chance to clean in areas that are usually neglected. They can freshen a room and give a whole new outlook to the place. And all that nonsense about not being able to move through the house in the dark--who really does that anyway? Usually you turn on a small lamp or have a nightlight or a street light shining through the window or something. In my eyes the guys had it great because they had all the benefits of a newly arranged, fresh and different-looking room without all the hassles of doing the work themselves. Who wouldn't want that?
It's annoying, too, to spend all day rearranging--always thinking about how surprised and please the hubby will be--only to have him either not notice, not really care, or complain because he doesn't like it. Talk about feeling unappreciated!
Well, now the shoe's on the other foot. I started a job this week. Not a big one--just part-time, four hours a day. I didn't go looking for it because it just kind of fell into my lap. We were really hurting financially, so we did feel that this was God's provision. My husband and I talked it over and agreed that this was probably God's answer to making ends meet. The only hitch: we have four boys that are not old enough to be unsupervised. And we homeschool. My hours are arranged so that I can still be here for the start of school everyday. I can administer tests and get all the paperwork done. Then I leave for work and my husband will oversee them and make sure they're done on time--usually by lunch time. It's a great plan--in theory.
Now, we haven't started homeschooling this year yet. So my husband is just supervising the boys and sometimes taking them with him when he's at the church where he pastors. He's either studying or doing maintenance or whatever and the boys play or ride their scooters in the parking lot.
You'd think that twenty-two years of marriage would prepare me, but I keep forgetting my husband is an off-the-cuff type of person. All the boys have pitched in to some extent with housework since Mom's working, but I do occasionally come home to find a lot not done because they had a project they were doing or because they had to be gone all day. But I forget that my husband is also capable of taking on projects around the house to "surprise" me. Case in point: last year I took a week to drive my son up to college for his freshman year. We stayed in the area for about four days (the dorms weren't open yet) and he spent the time looking for jobs. While I was gone, my husband painted the entire downstairs of our home. He's run a professional painting business, so I have no quarrel with the quality of the work. He used the same color that I had chosen for our last house, so I had no problem with the color. It was just a shock to walk in and see everything different when I wasn't expecting it. Once, years ago, I came home to find my pantry completely reorganized. Now, it needed organization, but I wasn't expecting it. It wasn't necessarily how I would have done it. But when a man alphabetizes your vegetables for you, you appreciate the gesture.
So today I came home to find my bathroom painted. As usual, great job done. I was just surprised because we hadn't discussed re-doing the bathroom. I was going over in my mind how I wanted to decorate the room, and my ideas did not have this particular wall-color in the plans. It's not a bad color--it's just not what I would have picked. It was done as a surprise, and I appreciate it. But it's a little unsettling. What if the color causes me to run into something when I walk through there in the dark?

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