Laura's birthday was on Monday which also happens to be Valentines day, making it both an advantage and a possible disaster. Because both days are one and the same, I only have to remember a single day - far better for my forgetful brain to handle - but on the other hand, if I forget there will definitely be consequences...
At any rate, I wanted to make it a special day for her, but I hadn't a clue as to what she really wanted. She likes flowers...easy. She likes chocolate...also easy. But what would she really want that would be personal and meaningful? I took the kids to the store on Saturday hoping for inspiration (imagine strolling through Target with 3 rambunctious kids, and the 4th watching with interest while other people wonder why you let your kids run around like hooligans...) but was less than inspired. I kept asking Erin what she wanted to get for mommy, but she was not too helpful...too busy running around the store checking everything out. We did manage to find a couple of Valentines day items and a couple of cards, but I was still missing that "meaningful something" I was looking for :(
It was around this same time that an idea began to form. (Note to the husbands - when you start getting these ideas you should proceed with caution). You see...like most stay at home mothers (i.e. works really hard at home) with little kids, she has a lot of responsibilities. She always likes it when I help out or simply take over some of the day-to-day chores like doing the dishes or washing the clothes. My idea? Volunteer to do the dishes and the laundry for 1 week.
I didn't know what I was getting into!
Ok...so maybe I did, which is why I thought that it would be a good Birthday present. I'm sure that Laura didn't think that I would actually keep up-to-date with the clothes or the dishes (I am the consummate procrastinator after all - why do something today when you can do it tomorrow?), but I must say that after a week of painful effort I did manage somehow to keep up with the daily grind of dishes and laundry.
Can you imagine 7 days of full sinks, unending plates and bowls, and too many cups to count? Or the 7 or 8 loads of laundry that I actually started and completed? (Ok...so Laura did help me with the folding of said laundry). Most of you can definitely imagine exactly what this entails...so the details are probably a bit boring...but I did it :)
Did I learn anything? My pride says I already knew exactly what Laura does every day. My reality during my "adventure" says that there is definitely a lack of real-world experience with regards to the every day happenings in the Daniels' home. I am really grateful for all that Laura does in our home. She is such a wonderful mother to our children, and a loving and hard-working wife. She really does keep this household centered and moving forward.
Thank you Laura for who you are and for all you do. I Love You!
PS - I think we are going to get a dishwasher this week...dishes by hand just take way too long!
PPS - I am probably not going to volunteer like this again...purchasing a gift is way easier!
Note to husbands: Please consider ALL details of such an agreement prior to proposing it to your wife