Sunday, May 31, 2009


I know that I have said that I revel in the daily, in those tasks that fill our days everyday over and over again and are never done. They are a basic piece of what makes us human and in the doing of those tasks we face our humanity and our needs in ways that other, more seemingly noble tasks can insulate us from. God meets us there and reveals something of himself and his connection to us in the daily. Life is lived in the daily.
That said, lately I have had a hard time with the dishes.
I find myself facing a sink load of dishes and it depresses me. My back is turned to all things good and lively and cheerful and full of laughter. I feel trapped. I feel unintelligent. I feel lost. And as I sink my hands into the hot water I feel my spirit sink lower and lower and lower.
It is a task that I have a hard time seeing to completion. Something (a poopy diaper, a crying kid, any one of a multitude of more pressing, urgent mothering tasks) always keeps me from actually finishing the dishes. I rarely have that sense of satisfation of seeing a clean counter, a clean table, order in the kitchen. It doesn't help that our kitchen is so small and I can reach all of it without taking a step. It doesn't help that I end up spending so much time in that small space preparing food for my family and cleaning up, or that that small space feels so cut off from the rest of the house and the outdoors where the girls like to spend their time playing. I try to keep up and do the dishes after each meal when they are easy to do and do not feel overwhelming yet, but with three little ones it is impossible to always get the dishes done immediately. And if even one meal has gone by and I haven't gotten the dishes done then our kitchen is small enough that the task can already look overwhelming to me. It doesn't help, either, that the times that I am trying to get the dishes done also happen to be the times that are the low points in my day. But for whatever reason, the dishes have been giving me a lot of grief lately in this specific time in this specific season of my life.
You can imagine, then, the gift it was that Mitch gave me yesterday by spending quite a long time at the kitchen sink on his day off to get all the dishes done. He even put them all away, wiped all the counters off, and then put a vase of fresh flowers on the sparkling table.
Thank you, Mitch.


Lindy said...

What a wonderful gift!

akamilby said...

I wish I could do all your dishes every day.

Anonymous said...

I promise to do dishes when I come visit! It is an easy way for me to feel useful at your house. What a joy to have such a kind, loving husband. Glad that Mitch is helping since it will be a while until I can get there. :)
love you,

Emily (Laundry and Lullabies) said...

I know what you mean about the dishes! Sometimes Gabe does them for me at night and it IS such a gift.

Hashim said...

For a very long time, my family and I used to live in a small apartment. When my brother and I wanted to do something that would make my mom happy, we would do the dished and clean the whole kitchen. Sometimes, when my mom was angry at us, we would stay up late until she and my dad were asleep, then do the cleaning. After seeing all the clean dishes neatly organized in the drawers, my mom would immediately forgive us and she would be happy all day. Until now, my mom still remembers our cleaning nights and that just makes her very proud of my brother and I. One day the girls would do the same to you Katie :)