Surprise, Honey!

The other day my husband had off work. I took the afternoon off to visit my sister on her birthday and run some errands. I called home around 5:00 pm just to see how his day off was going.

“Did you get to sleep in? Are you hungry? Should I bring something home?” He hasn’t had many days off this year – in fact, this was his first paid vacation day in almost two years.

Before I hung up, one last hint, “Try to keep the house clean, okay?” (I just had it cleaned the day before and silly me – was holding my breath it would stay that way until at least my family gathering on Sunday. How much mess can two adults make?)

I got home at 9:00 pm, only to find the kitchen in shambles. The kitchen cupboards seemed to have thrown up all over the place! Things I hadn’t seen for years were piled high on counters and table. I peered around the corner and saw hubby camped out in front of the kitchen sink and my heart sank a bit.

“Oh no, not a leak!” Our house is prone to plumbing blessings at inopportune times. I would not be surprised if the sink were leaking.

“Oh no, I just thought it would be a good day to hook up the ice maker.”

Our fridge died this summer and the replacement model has an ice maker, something about which we are both a bit ambivalent, nevertheless a fun option we thought we’d hook up eventually. But four days before Christmas! I stood there for a few minutes, not sure whether to laugh or cry.

Any man reading this blog will scratch his head – who wouldn’t be happy with an ice maker that you didn’t have to nag to have installed? Any woman reading will see my point immediately – the mess. Which I was assured would be remedied in about five minutes. Ah, we know better, don’t we?

Anyways, I decided to laugh! At least when my husband tackles plumbing projects, it gets done and done way beyond right. All the fixtures in my house bow down in agreement on this one! We lay in bed that night, listening with delight to the occasional ice cube drop, which caused MacGyver to get his hackles up and bark at the unseen beast.

And I realized something. This was exactly what I needed. No – not an ice maker. I needed to have my grip loosened a bit. My control (okay, make that CONTROL) tendencies tend to get a little out of hand. It’s not that I need to control others, but I really expend a lot of energy trying to make sure every thing’s just perfect. When it doesn’t need to be. The kitchen is put back together, the gifts are mostly wrapped, the house is passably clean and the things that really matter . . . time with those we love . . . will be welcomed over the next few days.

So thanks, Mike, for the surprise that is way cooler than ice cubes! The gift of your precious time and a lesson to boot!

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