Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Wife Rule #113: Appreciate the Miracles

Miracles are funny things. They can serve as powerful witnesses of unseen truths to believing, recognizing eyes. They are also so easily passed over when we are too selfish to discern them, too spoiled and entitled to appreciate them, or just too busy to notice them.

My wife works miracles on a daily basis, and I have noticed recently. We have been extremely busy lately, perhaps so much that instead of taking the miracles she produces for granted, my normally unobservant mind actually crossed a stress threshold where it became plainly obvious that without her miracles, our family would be drowning in a whirlpool of self-imposed chaos.

There was the miracle of the Ice Cream Social, where she exercised the gift of vision to see past the blaring shortcomings of the meager accommodations of space and shade that our front yard offers on a hot Sunday afternoon. As a result, we scooped through nearly twenty quarts of sticky-sweet ice cream to nearly a hundred and fifty happy, chatting guests. Somehow, the space and shade were adequate for the crowd. Even our collapsible canopy miraculously stretched enough to cover perhaps sixty souls as a fierce July Thunderstorm pelted us with hail-size raindrops for five minutes.

Two days later there was the miracle of love and friendship when my wife and the woman across the street realized that one of our favorite neighbor families was moving and had not been formally bid farewell. Despite having just hosted the Ice Cream Social, my wife insisted that we send them off properly. So the same small space of grass and shade miraculously filled again with a hundred and fifty hungry guests, and potluck food appeared as if out of thin air. The entire event was perceived accurately by our departing neighbors as the act of love that it was.

The next week there was the the family reunion, where my wife spent hours spearheading a gathering of five couples and ten children at her childhood home. She had help from other miracle workers who organized menus and prepared food, but the way that five days of meals and nearly non-stop activities proceeded flawlessly can be considered nothing short of miraculous, and a majority of it rode on her shoulders. While I desperately tried to concentrate on the one task of tying up loose ends at work in preparation for the time off, my wife worked her magic. By applying her organizational talents, she caused reservations for Wave Runners on the lake to materialize; food to organize itself, packed in boxes and coolers; laundry to be cleaned and folded and grouped into matching outfits; bags to packed; sleeping arrangements to be finalized; and a detailed agenda to be created with optimal plans to play on the beach, tour the cave, hike to the lake, picnic, play games, and see the town.

After returning yesterday, while I concentrated on the singular task of catching back up at work, miraculously the bags got unpacked, the laundry got done, the dishes got cleaned, and the house returned to a state of order. She somehow did all this while simultaneously setting her able hands to preparing another spectacularly successful birthday party tonight, which included a special, made-to-order birthday meal, including time-consuming homemade rolls; a fancy, multi-layered rainbow cake; long-anticipated, perfect presents; seven additional family guests; and one elated little eight-year-old girl.

And there is more to come.

Thursday there will be a birthday party with friends for this same eight-year-old girl, followed by all the preparations necessary to get our family of five children ready for a summer company party at the local water park. Friday is our almost-six-year-old son's birthday, whose wish list is still being finalized and whose party will involve guests again. Saturday our eight-year-old will be baptized, and we will be hosting family guests for lunch afterwards.

Next week, my wife will bear the brunt of making the preparations for our annual trip to the beach. Then a few days after we get back she will be packing our family up to leave home again so that we can all attend her sister's wedding. A few days after that, our children will begin school, wearing new clothes and with all the needful supplies in hand.

The preparations for all of these important events will take place. All the food will be bought and prepared and presented tastefully; all the presents will materialize, wrapped in brightly-colored paper with artful bows; all the complex nuances of the scheduling will be figured out; all the packing and unpacking and washing and drying and putting away and getting out will occur flawlessly. All this will happen without letting the house or our sanity deteriorate into utter chaos, despite having five children whose self-appointed missions sometimes seem to involve that specific end.

It will all happen. It always does. I will do my best to contribute as much as possible, but we both know that it is really my wife that makes it so. I know she often feels like she is winging it; that the odds are stacked hopelessly against her; that our household teeters on the edge of a steep and swiftly-eroding cliff. But somehow or other, she always manages to pull it off. She applies her mind, her heart, and her able hands. Through sheer grit and genius and the immense talents she possesses, she accomplishes what I could never do without her.

She works miracles.


Lindsay said...

Your wife is wonderfully amazing. I must say I love it when husbands brag about their wives.

I hope your wife will post some pictures of all these miracles on her own blog. Come on, Brooke. You know you want to!

Mom said...

Brooke is awesome and everything you wrote is so true. She makes it all look so easy, but we know it takes the miracles you wrote about. We, too, appreciate all her efforts and her wonderful hostessing and organization.