It was somewhere around 2:00 in the morning when I heard the door open. It used to take a lot more than that to wake me up. Not anymore. I stayed in bed, anticipating what, if anything, I would hear next. That’s when I heard the footsteps. I braced myself. But it wasn’t enough to prepare me for the sound that came next – vomit splattering all over our kitchen floor.
My wife and I both jumped out of bed and assumed our positions. She started gathering towels for cleaning. I stood next to my son while he finished throwing up. When he was done, I assumed the role of cleaning. My wife took over with the comforting. We didn’t say a word. We were like a trained team of first responders.
As a father, I’ve grown to expect nights like these. They don’t happen often. Maybe once a year. There are only a few weeks left in this year. We were due. So none of this amazed me. None of it, that is, until my wife pulled out the Lysol can.
I’ve been on this planet for almost 40 years and I don’t think that I’ve ever bought a can of Lysol. Nothing against Lysol. It does a fine job of covering up odors. But hey, isn’t that one of the benefits of having kids – blaming your odors on them?
Lysol does more than cover up odors. It’s supposed to kill bacteria too. 99.9% of it. The kind that likes to linger for a few days after a kid throws up on the kitchen floor.
As my wife was spraying away all of that bacteria I thought about another woman.
She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Proverbs 31:27 (ESV)
And then I thought about myself. If it weren’t for my wife, I would have been walking all over our house searching for the Lysol that I never bought, wondering if orange juice was a worthy substitute for bacteria removal. But that wasn’t the case. She looks after the ways of her household.
There’s a lot of pressure on women. Especially mothers. Social media has a way of making some feel like failures because they don’t knit diapers for their baby, harvest their own wheat for their homemade bread, do 37 pull-ups and lead a Bible study down at the women’s penitentiary, all before 9 on the first three Tuesday mornings of the month. And, if not careful, even Proverbs 31 can seem like just another list of impossible burdens.
Thankfully, God’s grace is sufficient. And it’s usually seen in the millions of small areas of our lives. The seemingly insignificant parts of our day that we would never devote to a status update. Things like having a can of Lysol ready.
I won’t be surprised in a few days if I’m awakened again by the sound of a door opening. Followed by frantic footsteps. And then the sounds of sickness. After all, the only things kids are really good at sharing are their germs. They especially like to share them with their mother.
The one who lays next to them all through the night.
The one who cleans up after them.
The one who gives them the kind of comfort that only a mother can.
The one who sprays the house down with Lysol, killing 99.9% of the bacteria that her son has spread all over the house.
The one who knows that the remaining percentage will probably find it’s way to her.
And the one who would do it all over again.
Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her. Proverbs 31:28 (ESV)