An ordinary kind of love…

23 May

Breakfast

Today after a hearty breakfast of scrambled eggs (with green onions), Taiwanese sausage, and steamed buns, I left the house for a few hours to run some errands. When I came back, I noticed that the Le Cruset pot that was sitting in the sink had been washed and is now sitting on the side to dry.

Normally these things don’t stand out to me but they did today because Charlie did them despite being very sick with a bad cold. In fact, he was so sick that he’s been mostly in bed for the past two days.

Just a few weeks ago though I wasn’t as appreciative of these acts of “love.”

*****

On Mother’s Day I woke up with great anticipation – this was my first official Mother’s Day and I was excited to see what surprises Charlie had planned for the day.

“What do you want for breakfast?”

“Oh, whatever you feel like.”

“Okay, how about ham and cheese on toasted bread?”

“Sure.”

“You want coffee?’

“Only if it’s decaf.”

So, breakfast was the usual. Nothing special.

Then we went off to Sunday worship service at church, followed by a Mothers Only lunch with the other ladies at a nearby restaurant. Charlie watched Noah like he always did when I’m out with friends.

When I got home Noah had already been fed and put down for his nap. And there was a card waiting for me. It was signed by both Noah and daddy. “Sweet,” I thought but I was looking forward to the “real” surprise.

But it never came. I had homemade breakfast, then time to myself, and a card. All very nice things but where’s my present?

That night I went to bed a little disappointed. And Charlie after learning about my disappointment, became sad too.

******

I’d like to say that I woke up all cheery the next morning but I didn’t. It took days of moping before I snapped out of the funk.

What’s the big deal about getting a present and why did it bother me so much that I didn’t get something?

“Was it because your sister got an ipod?” asked Charlie. “But you already got a new one last Christmas so you don’t need another one” he said.

I am not sure why I was so bummed about Mother’s Day and at first I thought that it’s because I was having trouble with my new identity as a stay-at-home-mom and receiving a gift would mean that I was doing a “good job” (kind of like getting a bonus or raise at work.)

But this week, I realized that I felt disappointed that Sunday because I get special treatment every day. Ironically Mother’s Day wasn’t special because every day was already “mother’s day.”

******

Every morning I wake up to fresh homemade breakfast. No matter how rushed Charlie is before work, he always makes sure I get my protein and he pulls the espresso shot for my Americano right before I get to the table so that it will be fresh and hot.

About once every other week I meet up with my friends for some R&R and Charlie always takes care of Noah so that I can fully relax.

I hate loading up the dish washer and washing all the heavy pots and pans so every night before bed Charlie makes sure to load up all the dishes and wash by hand the ones that don’t fit.

All this I enjoy regularly whether it’s Mother’s Day or not.

So, so what if I didn’t get a big flashy bling bling for giving birth or that breadmaker on Mother’s Day?! I’m happier that every day is full of small acts of love than having only one day when I receive special treatment.

Charlie, I am sorry for taking these things for granted. Thank you for making each ordinary day extraordinary.

*The photo is one of the breakfasts I regularly enjoy. On Mother’s Day we made it “special” by eating outside.

10 Responses to “An ordinary kind of love…”

  1. ramona May 23, 2008 at 2:18 pm #

    i remembering feeling that way, not too long ago too, and it wasn’t even mother’s day. i think for me, i wanted to be acknowledged that the 1) work i was doing was important and 2) that i was doing a good job. i think it’s hard b/c it’s not like we can get a “monthly” progress report of how we’re doing. i think nat figured this out, and he is mindful to encourage me. 🙂

    speaking of getting encouragement from nat, i need to remind myself to encourage nat of what a good job he’s doing as a father, money maker, and husband.🙂

  2. Mary May 23, 2008 at 6:14 pm #

    we missed you and charlie last night. hopefully charlie is getting better =)
    I feel the same sometimes, taking little things that Kev does for me for granted and expecting more on special occasions. again and again i am reminded that both of us contribute to this family whole heartedly, even though the area of focus may be different. i have to accept what i do is not more important than what he does, we are both on the same boat.
    One time, kev asked me howcome i dont plan for special occasions, and i was shocked. and that was when i realize he needs my affirmation too and i am not the only one entitled to special trtment. hehe. marriage is a wonderful journey of learning to love in every single way. =) salute to “oneness” under God =)

  3. jenjapan June 5, 2008 at 11:59 pm #

    Ladies, sorry for the late reply. This cold has been pretty nasty. Hope your households are staying healthy!

    Ramona:

    I know exactly what you mean – I’d be happy even with just a “quarterly progress report” ^_^ But yeah, I know that a lot of my expectations are because I need affirmation about my changed role as a stay-at-home mom. I too need to be reminded to thank Charlie for his hardwork outside the home. Since Father’s Day is coming up, I need to think of something that will help make it special. Got any ideas?

    Mary:

    We missed everyone too. It’s been hard staying home for the past two weeks but hopefully this way we will recover fully and be able to rejoin everyone sooner! As for marriage…thank God for His guidance each step of the way! This might sound weird but I really think the two of you have a lot of wisdom/relationship EQ for being so young and newly married. I hope you will continue to grow in your love as you grow old together ^_^

  4. Confirmed June 19, 2008 at 5:40 am #

    Somehow i missed the point. Probably lost in translation🙂 Anyway … nice blog to visit.

    cheers, Confirmed.

  5. Motoyama July 6, 2008 at 2:36 am #

    I liked the part you said “every day was already ‘mother’s day.’” I would not say the same thing, but I think every day is special. Special in a sense that it will be gone and never comes back. Special in a sense that it is the only one day you can spend a day with your son’s X.x month-day and with your husband’s 3X-yr-xx-day to see the growth of change of someone special. And it is special in a sense that you can feel love from your family.

    I’m glad that you found the special-ness of it. It was a good story for me not to take things for granted.

    Happy 4th of July!

  6. jenjapan July 6, 2008 at 5:30 am #

    Motoyama:

    I didn’t know you read this blog. Welcome! Sounds like you are having a lot of special and reflective days. Glad my sharing helped.

  7. christina March 9, 2011 at 3:48 pm #

    Charlie is really a helpful and loving husband, I must say. Not too many man like to do dishes and remain to be so thoughtful after a long marriage life.

    • jenjapan March 9, 2011 at 9:32 pm #

      Christina – again, welcome! Well, we’ve been married almost 7 years now, I’m not sure if that’s long or short. But yes, Charlie is very helpful around the house. He works from home 2 days a week and sees the chaos that I deal with so he tries to help whenever he can. As for the dishes…actually, he’s the one who insists on using the dishwasher…so early on in our marriage we negotiated that he would load it if I would put the clean stuff away…and a lot of our pots (Staub, LC, etc.) and pans are “heavy” stuff that he wanted to have in our kitchen so again, he “gets to” handle them…I guess that’s how some things work, once you start a routine/habit in the marriage, sometimes it continues until someone protests or offers to take over.
      So lately, I’ve been loading the dishwasher and washing pots and pans whenever I get a free moment…^_^

      • christina March 10, 2011 at 1:36 am #

        Marriage is all about helping one another. There is no set rules that who should take care of what. Earlier in our marriage, when my husband just started out in his career, he had more time to help such as chopping the vegetables with this and so on. But now, when he has to travel often and supervise almost 300 people under him, I don’t think that I would ask him that. Even he works from home, he is so busy that I have to send breakfast, lunch and snack to his study. The conference calls won’t stop. When I see him work so hard, my job is to look after him and my daughter so that they are all healthy. Forgot to say, I was a full-time professioanl until a year before my daughter was born. Luckily, I enjoy all the stuff I do in the house either gardening, cooking, or baking or being the travel planner in the house. I plan our trips down to the details of daily itienaries even where to eat( I make reservations before our trips). I quite enjoy doing this this. I don’t quite missing the professioanl part of my life even I own an MBA and 2 CPAs.

  8. christina March 10, 2011 at 1:38 am #

    I think I got some typos. But you should know what I meant.

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