Counting Our Blessings

He started digging through the shelves, looking behind doors, under cabinets. Opening and closing things at a confusing pace. I didn’t think much of it, because let’s face it, he’s a little random at times. And usually he’s looking for a snack.

Then he started climbing on stools, looking on top of closets and in storage spaces. I watched for a good 5 minutes in amusement as he roamed our 900-square-foot apartment many times over with a purpose. Finally, from my dishwashing perch, I asked. “Jason, what are you looking for?”

And as is his habit when he does chores, two iPod headphones were stuck in his ears, music that I cannot appreciate blaring through each at a decibel level that has GOT to be unhealthy brought on by his years of drumming. He did not hear me.

So I again, I asked, a little louder. “What are you looking for?” Finally, he sensed my question, and took one headphone out, looked at me sweetly and said. “Lightbulbs.”

Ah. The bane of my existence. Those tiny, itty bitty chores that everyone hates doing, left for the last possible minute to do, and couples have contests to see who can outlast the other accepting the inconvience. Over the last three months, we’ve had at least three lightbulbs out (laundry room, porch and closet). Changing lightbulbs. Vacumming. Throwing out pizza boxes that stack up right next to the trashcan because they can’t fit in the trash can, and neither of us feel like walking them the 20 steps to the dumpster to throw them out, so there they lay. I hate changing lightbulbs. No idea why. It just is that way. Just like I hate cleaning the bowl of Rotel dip with the gooky, stuck on Velveeta cheese. I just won’t do it.

“Oh,” I replied. “Look in the white box, on top of the laundry room shelves, by the other white box, under the Band-Aids.” Like duh. Who wouldn’t know to look there?

So there he went, got a chair, grabbed the lightbulbs, and changed all the broken ones. And then there was light. And I smiled.

For as much as I hate changing lightbulbs, I usually end up doing it anyway, because I’m usually home more often and by the time he gets home from another 12-hour day working with some of the most interesting people in the city, he’s a little tired. And he knows this. He knows I hate it, yet, more often than not, I lose the inconvenience contest by virture of my OCD and lack of patience (I’m WORKING on it!)

But not this time. He changed the lightbulbs. Without having to be asked. Period.

Silly, right? That I would find this much enjoyment out of a simple chore. But it was more than that. To me, it was a sign of “we’re in this together;” “I’m part of this house too” and ” you can count on me.” After a week of being confronted with a lot of new emotions and sadness about life, he understood that the simple things often add up to bigger things. And the simple act of him changing the lightbulbs, he knew, would give me just a quick, subtle sign that he’s on my team, through good and bad, dark times and bright times, lightbulbs and no lightbulbs.

Now, if we can just conquer the pizza boxes…