Monday, May 4, 2009

Listen Up, Men

My husband, Scott, and I were rushing through the day last weekend. He had spent the morning working on the basement while I took the boys to church.By the time I got home, the boys were overdue for sleep and cranky, and I was tired and snippy.

We sprinted through lunch to get the boys down for naps, and Scott and I each took a child and performed the naptime rituals, wishing only for a few minutes alone.

Once the kids were peacefully sleeping, I considered vegging out on the couch and testing fate with a nap. As I thought about the full laundry basket and washer and dryer full of clothes, I relented and lugged my overflowing basket of clean clothes down the stairs and plopped myself on the floor in front of the coffee table.

Scott was already enmeshed in a replay of some NFL game from last season. I remember thinking resentfully, “Why is it the laundry is my responsibility?” as I began to sort the dozens of socks on the floor and table.

And then my husband did the most amazing thing.

He got up, came around the side of the table, sat down on the floor with me and began sorting socks. As we sorted we shared the antics of the day, talked about plans for the week and just spent time together. It is true that "many hands make light work." I wondered if all my mundane daily tasks would be more enjoyable if done with the easy companionship I shared that warm Sunday afternoon.

We have so much to do.

And it is true that children often wedge broad gaps between us as we divide and conquer and play zone defense to survive from day to day. But when it comes to the times we spend working on our list of chores, are there opportunities for communion, even as we labor?

We are "blessed" to have homes of our own, not bound to share our existence in the constrains of a family home with parents, aunts, uncles and cousins all sharing one space. But when we feel lonely amidst the furious pace of our lives, it gives us pause to step back, survey this life and begin to reach out and make connections with one another that cannot be attained through any amount of twittering, facebook or blogging.

It may be that the greatest moments are those shared sitting on the floor, chatting and folding socks.