This morning, as the entire family gathered together in the kitchen to get in each others way while eating breakfast and packing lunches, Joe chastised me for stacking dirty dishes on the cutting board.
I was stunned. Completely stunned. I put down the shawl (the alpaca dental floss shawl is almost done, 20 rows and a cast off. I know it looks like crap, I assure you blocking is magic.)
and stared at him. Think for a moment about what had just transpired. My husband, who has many, many charms - not one of them having anything at all to do with cleaning anything at all, had just spoken to *me* (aka - the only person in this house who has ever spoken to another family member about cleaning anything) about the appropriate use and cleanliness of the cutting board.
Seriously, what happened here while I was gone? Joe cares about the cutting board? I would have sworn to you on a stack of laceweight merino up until this morning that Joe thought our cutting board was self cleaning. While I was gone he trained the children (with admittedly limited success, but let's not focus on that) to put their dishes in the dishwasher, not on it. I've been trying to do that for years. YEARS. Other sparkling successes include:
-each member of this family enjoyed the company of Mr. Washie, with clean laundry resulting.
-only half the house is sticky.
-there is toilet paper.
-Joe cleaned the laundry area. The stack of memorial lint that I've been tossing on the top of the dryer for months? Gone. (Also gone are the 12 empty containers of laundry soap that I couldn't quite manage to get to the recycle bin.)
-Amanda did an awesome job at the violin solo.
Ken recorded it for me...I haven't heard it yet, but look at how she looks. Just look at it. I'm sweating and worrying and scared out of my wits about talking to knitters, and my daughter laughs her way through a solo? There is no pleasure greater to a mother (at least this one) than watching her children surpass her, despite dodgy parenting.
I am beyond proud and all the way to awestruck by this girl.
I leave for 10 days and the whole thing comes together?
(We will overlook, for the purposes of this argument, that there was a fire. It was a small fire, it was contained in the oven area and was put out by Joe and Ken - Not the Toronto fire department. Really, as Joe puts it, it is worth noting that there was "only one fire", since for guys like Joe fires are not all that out of the ordinary.)
Suddenly Joe and the girls have inside jokes. They have a system. They have a dimension to the parent child relationship that wasn't here before I left. It is worth wondering (because I am the type that thinks everything is worth wondering about) if I shouldn't have left more often? Perhaps there is something to be said about stepping back a little.