It’s funny how a little perception can change a whole lot of the view.
Remember last week when I was talking about how I sometimes look around the house and I’m overwhelmed because I’m the only one who cleans. Or does dishes. Or laundry. Or kills really big spiders.
Or buys a Christmas tree.
This was weird. If I’m being honest, it was really weird. Because this was something we did as a family. This was something that he did with us.
We didn’t do much as a family. Most of the time it was just the three of us, but this was something that we did. All of us. Something that we looked forward to. It was one of those rare occasions where we would go out as a family and actually enjoy each other’s company. Or at least pretend to.
We would walk around. Find the perfect tree. Gush about how perfect it was. Next, he would get it on the car, which was always pretty comical and resulted in a lot of explicit words that would have us laughing by the end of it. Worried that said tree would fall off the car, we would drive home with our hazards, creeping down the street. Making other drivers very angry. But it was our thing.
Then we would get home and he would put it in the stand.
Not this time though.
This time it was just the three of us. This time it was the guy at the stand putting it in my trunk. This time it was me unloading it from the car. And with the help of one of my very dear friends, it was me putting the tree in the stand. And me setting it up.
This time, on the way home, instead of driving slow with our hazards, I got to answer awkward questions from my seven year old about his dad and Christmas.
He’s been doing that a lot lately. Asking questions. Accusing me, indirectly, of breaking up his family.
I don’t take it personal anymore. I just let him ask his questions. I’m his safe place.
But sometimes I hate being the only one who has to answer.
So, as we made it home and as the tree found the perfect spot in our house. And as we placed our new lights and ornaments on it, I couldn’t help but look around and take it all in.
Yes, I might be the only one who cleans. Who does the laundry. And the dishes. It might be very overwhelming some days. Most days, it is. And yes, I might be the only one who is being asked questions. Or accused. And while I hate spiders, it is up to me to kill them.
But, you wanna know something else?
I’m the one who slept on her parents’ couch with her two kids for four months. I’m the one who got an apartment on her own. I’m the one who started out living on air mattresses. I’m the one who bought a used futon from Goodwill just to have something to sit on. I’m the one who moved in with no internet and no tv. I’m the one who had just a couple of plates and a few pieces of silverware. I’m the one who only had three towels and no shower curtain. I’m the one who built the bookshelves. And who put the TV together. I’m the one who prayed every single day for a miracle, even bigger than the one I was living. I’m the one who held it together and refused to cry in front of the kids because they needed to see how strong I was. I’m the one who slowly started creating the life that we had dreamed about. I’m the one who drove to Texas to pack up the last 10 years of our life into my car. I’m the one who drove back and forth with a basket full of laundry to my parents’ and to my friends’ house just to have clean clothes, even if I had no where to put them.
I did those things. I did those things so that one day, almost a year later, I would be able to look back and see that I actually started out with nothing. I would be able to look back and know that all of this, was because of me. My faith. My strength. My determination.
Because being the only one who cleans is a blessing.
Because being the only one who does the laundry is something to brag about.
Because being the only one who does the dishes is proof that He is so good.
Because being the only one who kills big spiders is evidence that I am enough.
Because being the only one who answers questions is nothing but an answered prayer.
Because I lived a very long time thinking that I could never do these things. The big things. The little things. The things in between.
And, well, here I am. Doing all the things.
And doing a pretty good job if I do say so myself.