Several weeks ago I had to work out of town. Meaning, like the traveling salesman, for about a month I was only home on the weekends. Wife had the house and children all to herself. It felt like running a refugee camp without US support. To Wife’s relief, the last week of out of town work had arrived. Only one more week away from home.
Of course, because God does not want us to get too comfortable, that was the Monday when the flu landed firmly on Wife’s head like a crow on roadkill. Like a hungover ballplayer, she was out of the game. She had to go to bed, and stay there.
The refugees were running the camp.
Okay, not really, they were not completely on their own. Wife’s mother stopped by to doctor her and help with the children one day, and my mother stopped by another. You might think the house would resemble a prison taken over by the inmates. With nine children prancing around, the table should have been covered with the leavings of meals. The floor a mess. And something that could not be identified clinging to the ceiling.
But, when our mothers came by, it was more like a hospital where the patients were caring for the doctor. Like something out of a fairytale, the dishes were done. The table, while not washed off, was clean of breakfast bowls. The floors were picked up and only needed a good vacuuming. And as hard as it might be to believe, nothing, not even the small children, were stuck to the ceiling.
Had the elves come to visit the shoemaker?
You would think that I should expect the children to keep up the house by now. After all, Wife has been drilling cleaning habits into their little heads all their lives. But, I keep expecting some of my messy nature to surface in the children like oil bubbling up from the ocean floor.
In the end, I arrived home Friday and Wife could finally let go of her responsibilities, a little. You see, when the rubber hits the road, our girls are much better housekeepers than I. And Wife knows it. So, while Wife was confident that I would not burn down the house cooking chicken soup, she did stress a little that I might let the children slack in their housework.
She might have a point. But I had one thing she forgot about, the girls.
Yes. The same girls that kept the house running while I was away, and that cooked chicken-noodle soup and tea for their mother while she was sick in bed. Those girls were at my beck and call. Wife need not worry.
And so, Wife was able to rest in bed through the weekend like a clam under a rock. Come Monday, the flu had been beaten back and she was ready to rise up like a phoenix.