I finally gave in. The Husband has been after me for awhile to hire a cleaning service so that the burden of housekeeping might be lifted from my shoulders. Now, before you think this is going to be one of those “Aww, TH is so wonderful and kind” posts–or just that, anyway–consider this: when I told him, in my control-freak voice, that I was perfectly capable of doing the job myself, he replied, “Yeah, but your attitude about it…” and trailed off, knowing that if he wanted dinner that night, he should quit while he was ahead. To be fair, there was an incident involving a collision of my vacuum with his bedside lamp, but that was purely accidental; however, the profanity-laced monologue accompanying said incident was not.
It’s not that I don’t want someone else to do the cleaning; it’s more that I want to be a martyr about it. Also, there’s the possibility that a new hire won’t abide by my naval-officer-esque standards. Then there’s the separate issue of my introversion (read: jerkiness) that exhibits frustration over the fact that I already have enough people in my life I have to pretend to like; why add another? But on Saturday, with TH out of town and The Mom visiting (read: enabling my sanity), the prospective housekeeper (is that PC? or the equivalent of calling a flight attendant a stewardess? Can someone grab my copy of The Help?) dropped by, looked around, and gave me her rates. Then we shook on it and the deal was done.
When TH gingerly approached the topic of leaving town for a close friend’s bachelor party a few weeks ago, I gingerly reminded him that he’s not allowed to step outside the perimeter on weekends. Then I gingerly remembered that I may want to cut out of town myself one of these days, and I relented. But not without my signature resentment. “The Kid, your daddy is going to leave us for awhile, but he’ll probably be back soon,” I would announce regularly in the days leading up to TH’s trip. “Try to remember what his face looks like.” Such half-jokes were naturally met with laughter from TH (read: groans). Life demands so much more from me lately than it did when I was living for myself in a New York City walk-up, and though the rewards are greater now, I often forget them and even temporarily forego them in favor of a shitty attitude. And though my cuteness knows no bounds as I sing a Beyonce tune while threatening TH with expulsion (to the left, to the left, everything you own in a box to the left), I realize my resentment is yet another sign of my deep brokenness and the work grace has left to do with me. (Oh, hey, grace–thanks for showing up again! By the way, do you clean houses, too, or just people?)
But the weekend turned out to be full of joy and redemption as grace overruled me constantly. The Mom got to watch me being a mother, and I got to watch her being a grandmother. I personally think her job is easier, but since she and The Dad raised two such stellar individuals, I guess they’ve earned some time off. The Kid wore his helmet with an air of ease that he did not genetically receive from me–he looks boyish and older in it, like he’s about to hop on a Harley–and topped that off by turning six months and sleeping twelve hours. BAM. And last night, as he leaned against his Boppy and peacefully sucked his thumb and watched The Parent Trap while I made dinner, I whispered a prayer of thanks for a dirty house and heavily full life–and wondered how I ever had the right to use the word love before he, TH, and grace came along.