Joy yesterday was being a helper without feeling resentful, and realizing by that response that I’ve grown a lot!
When our kids were young, and they would ask for a ride to somewhere (we live out in the boonies), my husband would always, without hesitation, say, “Sure!”… happily. I would eventually say yes, but not before I commented about what I was in the middle of and why it would be a burden to me. I always wanted to respond like Mark did, and always felt badly for responding the way the words tumbled out of my mouth, but felt like I couldn’t control it…
So yesterday Mark came home early to pack his suitcase and head to Washington, D.C. He packed about 10-15 minutes before he left the house. The airport is about an hour and 15 minutes from our house. An hour and 15 minutes after Mark left, at about 5:30, I got a text from him. “Forgot my suitcase.” I went and looked in the bedroom, and sure enough, there, in the doorway, was his suitcase. Packed and waiting.
He’s forgotten his things before; his glasses, a file folder he needed, a jacket… but never his suitcase! I laughed out loud at the absurdity of his packing his suitcase… and then leaving the house without it!
I asked him what time his flight was scheduled to leave. There wasn’t time for me to drive it down. He said he would figure something out, and he asked if I would unpack his suit and his dress shirts so they wouldn’t be all wrinkled when he got home on Thursday. In the meantime, I texted him, “Well… you DO need some new dress clothes!” Followed by, “… and underwear… and t-shirts… and shoes… and toiletries… 😉 ”
About a minute later he called and asked, “There’s another flight leaving at about 8:30. If I can switch and get on that one, would you drive my suitcase down to me?” Without hesitation, I said YES. So that’s what he did, and that’s what I did.
Driving down, after re-packing his suitcase (or at least grabbing the items I’d unpacked and bringing them along to be repacked), being the suitcase courier, I was thinking about how far I’ve come. I felt no resentment by his asking me to help him, in spite of the fact it would take the entire evening to do so. I WANTED to help him. I thought about all the times that he has helped me, or helped the kids, without any thought, without any resentment, with a simple, cheerful, YES… and how much I had always admired that and wished I could respond like that, yet never found I was able to… until now.
So joy yesterday was driving Mark’s suitcase down to the airport to save him shopping time in an already packed (no pun intended!) few days. It felt good. It felt like the right thing to do. It felt like the right choice.