Saying thank you for the little things greases the wheels of marriage.
On any typical night, I start cleaning up dinner while my husband handles teeth-brushing. Then, switcheroo: he takes over clean-up and I get the kids nestled in bed, reading from our latest chapter book. This is not exactly set in stone, but it varies as much as say, Mount Rushmore.
After the little people are hugged, kissed and lullabyed, I slip out (with fingers crossed) and Dan thanks me for wrapping up their day with Mama-love and some good somnambulant kid-lit. I thank him for brushing teeth and doing dishes.
It feels good to be acknowledged, even if it’s for the tasks you’ve purposefully divvied up, the tasks you perform on autopilot (you could detect “the nightly lullaby” on an MRI of my brain), the tasks you just do to keep the ship of your household afloat.
These acknowledgments of gratitude make family life feel less like a business, and more like a series of daily gifts we give each other. And as formulaic as it may sound, being appreciated for the pieces I bring to the family puzzle make me feel lucky for being able to participate. Which, really, I am.
It’s well known that expressing gratitude is linked to better health, less anxiety and depression, higher long-term satisfaction with life and kinder behavior toward others, including romantic partners.
Now, that’s romantic.
Can we talk about toilets? Okay, good.
If you, like us, let it mellow if it’s yellow, (which, holy moly, consider the environmental impact of flushing 1-2 gallons of drinking water every time you pee), you will notice yellowish build up (due to urobilins; thanks, Google) in your toilet bowl.
This is as much a “find” as, well, a toaster, meaning, approximately 700,000 grandmothers have discovered this before me. However, my pressure cooker is possibly my favorite kitchen gadget. It cooks beans, (which you may say are the musical fruit, I call them the miracle fruit – cheap, delish, kid-friendly protein!) in 45 minutes. No. More. Cans.
When my son was born 3 1/2 months premature, we were emergency airlifted to the nearest big city. After our son was stabilized (but predicted to need 4 months in the NICU), my husband flew home and drove back with some of our most important belongings, including, yes, our pressure cooker.