I don't know what it is about the little white squares that set me off.
Maybe they remind me of the square Prius that cut me off on the same exit that's always backed up. Maybe it's due dates and deadlines and that detour they just put on that exit that's always backed up. Maybe it's the pressure of being a husband and a dad who is driving all over the city, trying to make it to T-Ball practice on time but getting stuck at that exit that's always backed up, and getting cut off by a white, boxy Prius.
But those little white squares set me off.
I park my car on top of a makeshift oil pan in my driveway. I say makeshift because it's actually an old piece of plywood with tire marks from my BMX bike - the one I wish I could ride more. I park my car after navigating the exit that's always backed up and I try to exhale all the tension of the day over the course of the 15 steps from my Volkswagen to the front door. I really ought to get that leak checked out. I think my tire pressure is off too. Maybe if I can make it past that exit that's always backed up with a little lead time before T-Ball I can jet over to the dealership and get it looked at. It'd be nice if that could happen before the HOA dings us for makeshift oil pan in my driveway. How much does a tune up cost these days?
Unlocking the front door is surgery and karate. The key has to go in just right and then it's the combination of pulling and twisting, prior to pushing, that finally gets me in. I'm just happy when I don't drop the keys or spill my lukewarm coffee cup mid-maneuver.
I can hear the kids, no, the chaos from the other side. Aria's taken one of Levi's toys again and Kohen is fussy for food.
My head's still spinning from the traffic and the work day and the pressures of providing for my family.
And those little white squares set me off. They're on the ground again. The frill around the edges is starting to wear. They never looked comfortable to begin with and they're on the floor again. They're supposed to be on the couch and my patience is worn thin from that stupid exit that is always backed up. I hate those white throw pillows.
And then I see her.
Hair tousled, yoga pants with some yogurt stains, fire in her eyes digging deep, she's making dinner and feeding the kids and saving the world. She's never looked better.
I'm mad at the throw pillows and she's been shaping souls and cleaning diapers and God knows what else all day long with the cutest but most destructive children the world has ever known. Did I mention there are 3 of them and 1 of her? And last I checked I leave for work around 7:30 and get back about 6:45 each night. That's nearly 12 full hours hanging in the balance.
And she's never looked more beautiful.
There's the puzzle that's always in a million pieces, the half-eaten lunch that the dog always steals, laundry mid-cycle and all the pressure that comes with being a wife and a mom, and yet she's got that smirk of resilience that has me convinced, despite having the cutest and most destructive kids in the world, I've lucked out with the strongest, most capable woman in the galaxy.
Sure, my commute totals 3+ hours each day (depending on how long that one exit is always backed up), but that's time to think, time to tune into my favorite podcast, and time to escape. Dani doesn't get to clock out. In fact, when she does get time to herself, she's mentoring Barre instructors or high school girls. She clocks out to clock in elsewhere.
Chances are Kohen will also wake up the second she falls asleep, too.
I don't know what sets me off about those little white squares, but I have a hunch. My headspace gets pretty messy most days and I'm upset that I'm foolish enough to get mad about a few little pillows. Dani keeps the rest of our lives in perfectly chaotic, perfectly beautiful order.
Husbands, love your wives. Screw the throw pillows.
It's not our job to fix it all. It's not our job to be perfect. It's our duty to celebrate the family, shine light on what is working and remind our wives that it's a miracle the house is still standing at the end of the day. Everything else is just noise.