When I was growing up, every Saturday morning I’d wake up to a chore post-it note stuck on the outside of my bedroom door. I’d groan and pluck it off, and think about how long I could procrastinate until I started on my list. My chores weren’t usually too bad, looking back now as an adult, but as a teenager, cleaning the bathrooms, my room and dusting the first floor were the epitome of a soul-sucking Saturday. Sorry, Dad.
The worst Saturday post-it notes had cleaning out the garage…or…raking the yard. Oh, I loathe raking. I’m kind of impressed now that I’m a parent, how my dad would be awake and coherent long enough to get a full Saturday plan in place before we were awake. Such organization. Such drive for delegation. So not me. I think it might skip a generation because it’s so Jackson.
Jackson is the first to rise and the first to get things going in our house. Before our first sip of coffee, he’s telling us what chores need to be done, how to do them and what needs to come next on the list.
Dear Lord. I just had a flash forward of Everett and I waking up to chore post-it notes from Jackson in a few more years. Shake it off, Jess.
I really feel for Everett because usually they’re chores Jackson wants to do with his Daddy. Things like like trimming bushes, blowing off the sidewalk and raking leaves.
Ev works really hard during the week. He’s a lawyer with the Hampton City Attorney’s office and also teaches two legal classes each week. On Monday and Wednesday, he often leaves around 8 a.m. and gets home about 11 p.m. (Those law school student loans are no joke!) Everett works really hard to provide for our family.
I work 32 hours a week, but also keep up with the kids schedules. It’s a lot to juggle. That’s why on Saturdays, Ev and I sometimes feel like teenagers when Jackson has our chore lists ready. Ugh, do we have to, Jackson? There’s a fine line between encouraging Jackson’s amazing work ethic and also helping him understand Mommy and Daddy need breaks too.
I’ve been sick the last few days with a nasty cough and congestion. Ev made breakfast for the kids and now he’s outside doing yard work with Jackson. I’m propped up in bed (which I probably should have done two days ago) with Abby, cuddling while she watches Daniel Tiger. Jackson’s stomped in several times, red cheeks from the cold and eyes just glowing as he tells me the yard is looking so great! I can still hear my dear, hard-working husband out there blowing leaves. He can do things with Jackson that I never can — and he does it even when he doesn’t want to because he’s a good daddy, a good husband and a good man.
Marriage takes a lot of hard work, doesn’t it? Sometimes you both give 50%; sometimes one gives 90% because the other can only muster 10. Ev and I have had many ups and downs over a decade together – obviously – but it’s much easier to get through life together. My 50% would mean nothing without his. And when my 10% is up here in bed, blowing into a Kleenex, I’m grateful he’s carrying the load.
Oh these guys of mine.