My husband has come home. To stay. This is sometimes called Retirement. Ours was not to be the one depicted in those ads. We are not that ultra-fit couple, so well endowed with bushels of silver hair and sparkling teeth. Not sailing off into a glorious sunrise, we would be practicing the fine arts of homemaking and housekeeping – together.
We would be good at this. In our newfound collaborative ways, the daily chores would be done in half the time. Together we would find the time and energy to be helpmates and playmates too!
Now that he’s home, there are many questions to address. Most of his begin with ‘Why...’.
So, the reason the chipped plates are on the bottom is that they are ugly, and harbor bacteria. We lift the cat food dispenser from the bottom because the top pops off and scatters kibble everywhere. We buy toilet paper at this store, in bulk, because they don’t carry that brand at our other store. And no, we do not wash the toilet brush in the kitchen sink. Because. That is why.
I do my best to answer with supportive loving kindness. Transitions are difficult. I approach these teachable moments with patience. My patience is being rewarded, in that magical way where the student becomes the teacher. Turns out these learning opportunities are really for me. And in his new teaching role, my helpmate husband is finding a genuine sense of purpose.
I am now fully aware of just how important it is to rotate the stock of plates and glasses. To ensure even usage and wear you want to pull these out and put the clean ones at the bottom (clank, bang, chip). I have also learned how to load the dishwasher properly, so as to optimize exposure to the spray from the rotating blades. Unused kitchen gadgets now occupy the front of the drawers. I cannot reach the ones we actually use. But I can better appreciate all the useless stuff.
Tomorrow we will feed the cat. Then I will know just how to manage a programmable cat food tower. It will also be a valuable lesson in the virtues of duct tape.
We may have to put off cleaning the bathroom to next week. Who knew these things could take so much time? Heaven knows when we’ll find time to inventory the pantry and get to the shopping.
My To-Do list is no longer my own. But I can take pride in achieving these new engineer sanctioned levels of domesticity. And it begins to dawn on me that from now on, Monday morning never comes.