Friday, June 25, 2010

Acts of Compassion


It happened again this morning.

My husband's sometimes twice-weekly action that makes me want to roll my eyes and sigh heavily.

No, it's not the typical toothpaste cap left off, shaving cream residue in the sink, or dirty socks on the floor. It's not even the way he takes off his dirty socks by dragging his feet across the carpet or the way he goes into the laundry room to get clean clothes for work and take only the shirt and pants for the next day.

No, the thing that makes this different is that I've never said anything about it.

And what is this heinous act?
After using the finger or toenail clippers, he hangs them back on my makeup cup open, instead of closed.

I KNOW.

*Gasp*

I'll give you a moment to roll your eyes, snicker or otherwise ponder my type-A anal tendencies before I go on to explain.

So, why is this a big deal?

Well, for one, when I reach down to get the cup from the cupboard, the clippers inevitably catch on something (since they are not securely fastened to the cup as they were when he found them) and fall off or otherwise cause trouble.

In addition, that makeup cup is a well-thought-out system by which the two clippers are positioned such that they hold my large makeup brushes on one side, leaving the smaller ones in clear view on the other side. When it is not arranged in such a way, all manner of chaos breaks loose and I have to spend precious seconds (remember, I have three kids 3 and under) searching for the tiny brushes mixed in with the big ones.

I know, TERRIBLE, right?

You see, my life is a set of carefully thought-out systems, orchestrated in such a way that I have to expend the least amount of effort for any task. What from the outside looks like perfectionism is really laziness.

And the reason I've never mentioned this atrocity to my husband?

Love.

As I take the clipperss, close them on the sides of the cup and rearrange the contents, I practice an act of patience and compassion for the man I love.

You see, it doesn't hurt anyone, cost anything or cause irreversible damage.

It just takes a few seconds to remedy.

And so, this unspoken act of love reminds me on a weekly basis of all the ways my husband goes quietly about his days, putting up with my "systems", being my shoulder to lean on, calming the chaos of our hectic home, and otherwise just being an incredible husband and father who loves his neurotic wife anyway.

And if I told him, I'd lose that opportunity.

I know that once he reads this blog I'll probably find those clippers neatly closed on the cup.

'Cause that's the kind of husband he is.

But they'll be other opportunities to practice that compassionate love.

I can be sure of it.