I spent the last 4 days caring for my three children while my wife was away on a bachelorette weekend with her best friend. With the kind of years that we have had, both of us have really needed some time away to unwind and relax and it hasn’t always been easy to find it. Our kids are young and childcare is not free (at least most of the time it’s not). Weekends, especially Sundays, are among my busiest days as a pastor and I knew that it would be a challenge to make this happen. But I also knew how much it would mean to my wife.
She had prepared me well, having gone to the grocery store in advance of the weekend to simplify my life. I further simplified it by going out to eat more often than we would usually do in the span of a month, let alone a weekend. I avoided laundry (sorry, dear) but did dishes and tried to keep things relatively together.
Now before this weekend came, I knew that my wife did a lot to hold us all together. I certainly never thought of her as one to stay home lounging in her pajamas while the kids catered to her every need. If anything, it was the complete opposite. “Mommy, juice.” “Mommy, snack.” “Mommy, read a book.” “Mommy, play a game.” We speak multiple times throughout the course of a day, so I was aware of the demands that were put on her each and every day.
But knowing the demands and actually having to live through them are two very different things. Four days without my wife was certainly enough for me to realize even more how special and important she is.
There were no trips to the hospital this weekend, no toilets backing up (that didn’t happen until she got home and people had stopped praying for me). The house didn’t burn down. No one fell down the stairs. I didn’t run over any toys or catch any fingers in the door. Nope, all was pretty quiet (within reason for 3 children under 7). But it was also very incomplete.
Sure, we made it through and survived. My wife had set me up for success with her BJs run the day before she left. People at church and friends from Facebook were all praying for me, so I think God was merciful to me as well. But you know what, while we laughed and played and had fun and made memories, those memories would have been so much better had they been with Mommy too!
I’m glad for the time that my wife had away, but I was even more glad for her smiling face to walk through that door. Not because I can’t handle my children, but because we do it better together. Do I have a deeper appreciation of what she does for us? Of course I do. Not to would make me a fairly stupid and dense individual. She seems to be the glue that makes us work, and I am grateful for that.
At around 2:45PM yesterday afternoon, she walked through the garage door, greeted by a sign that the kids made. That pretty much says it all, “Welcome Home, Mommy. We Missed You!” Sure, they missed her, but I think I missed her more and I’m so grateful to have her. When I go back to Genesis 2 and read the phrase, “Then the Lord God made a woman,” I can’t help but smile and think, “Yup, that’s why he’s God and I’m not.” He certainly knew what he was doing, and I’m glad that I get to reap the benefits of that. I and my children have been given a wonderful gift, and today, I appreciate it even more than I did yesterday.