How tripping over a pair of boots changed my perspective on my marriage
Sometimes a moment of clarity comes from the most unlikely of places. Walking through the living room this morning before the sun came up, I found mine. Em had been playing and I didn’t pay much attention to what she was playing with, there wasn’t anything out she could hurt herself with, so I wasn’t concerned.
As I walked through the room, with only Mickey Mouse playing on the TV for light, I found what she was playing with. One of Jorden’s work boots, heavy and steel-toe, it definitely hurt when I kicked it. Initially I was upset. UGH! It was left out next to the chair, and she just loves to drag them around by the laces.
So here it is, this dirty, worn work boot, staring at me as I move it to the appropriate place. Of all things she could play with, why this boot? Then I actually looked at it. See, Em and I have our nice clean things, our clean shoes and clothes, but my husband… now that’s a different story.
These boots show the hard work he does for our family, they’re rough and dirty, probably with a metal shaving or two trapped in the sole from being worn in the metal shop. The laces have been knotted together to prolong their life for just a while longer. The leather has been worn by the laces; you can tell exactly how they’re laced almost daily as they’re just sitting there. He mentioned the other day how a hole had been started in the leather.
I began to think about all the hard work my husband does for our little family. How much time and effort he puts in to care for us in the best way he knows how. These boots show the wear of his work, where he hides the exhaustion from the day. He works so hard to make sure I get to stay home and care for our daughter. We make many sacrifices to make it happen, but without his hard work, we would be in a much different place.
When he comes home, takes off those boots, and eventually falls asleep in the chair 2 minutes after putting Em to bed, I get so frustrated and annoyed.
“Why doesn’t he want to spend that time with me?” “Can’t I get a few minutes of peace with my husband before he falls asleep?”
And then came the moment of clarity
It’s not that he doesn’t want to spend that time with me; he would probably love to spend that time with just us, sit and watch some Netflix, or a movie. Like his boots, he is tired and worn; he is holding it together to get through another day.
There is never a complaint about his work. He really loves what he does. He loves working hard and making sure his family is taken care of. Through looking at the love languages, his is definitely Acts of Service. This is his way to show his love to his family.
So thank you, dirty boots, thank you for showing me what I needed in that moment.
I could be annoyed that these boots were left where our toddler could play with them, or I could be thankful for these boots and the man who puts them on 5 days a week, working long hours. I am thankful for the man who works so hard to provide for this family, and mostly I am thankful for this moment of clarity.
Have you ever found a moment of clarity in the most unlikely of places or times?
Btw, my toe still hurts…