*NOTE* Part of this is a direct cut-and-paste from the F&F blog. Part of it isn't. Can you tell which is which? :)
It wasn't the onions that had me misting up as I cooked dinner tonight. Nor was it shame at the fact I had to work around the dirty breakfast dishes to do so. No, those were tears of sheer joy.
But first you need to understand something. The Winemaker has severe allergies to both pets and dust mites. These allergies make it hard for him to breathe, which is mildly important, but even more importantly for a winemaker, they kill his sense of smell. This is why despite our love of animals, we don't have pets, and it's why, at the request of his doctor, I do all the vacuuming.
Not so onerous, right? He still picks up his fair share of the chores. But the thing is, I HATE VACUUMING. It wakens a dark rage in me, and I am more than half convinced that my vacuum cleaner is plotting my death, probably by tangling its cord around my legs as I walk downstairs, then positioning itself so I can't put out my hands to break the fall. I once wrote on one of those "20 things about me" that were all the rage when folks my age started using Facebook that I would rather clean toilets than vacuum, and I was half hoping someone would offer to swap jobs with me. And yes, we joked a lot during the weary journey towards adoption that it would all be worth it once I had someone to do the vacuuming for me. However, when we first introduced the vacuum cleaner, the kids decided to use it as a weapon, and it wound up in lockdown. I've been furtively vacuuming when the Winemaker takes both kids out, then re-hiding the machine before they got home.
Then a few days ago, I pulled it out to help Oak vacuum up the cup of dry cereal he'd spilled in his room. That went fine. A night or two later, the Winemaker got it out to clean up the mess after he'd changed and cleaned the lightbulbs from our dining room chandelier. Tonight, as I started dinner, Oak noticed the vacuum cleaner and asked, "Mama, can I do that?" So while I chopped potatoes, trimmed beans, and breaded fish*, it was to the sweet sound of someone else vacuuming the living room. I couldn't help but to cry tears of joy.
*This dinner was soundly rejected by one member of the family, who shall remain nameless, but who is under four feet tall. Let it be known that we have finally worked our way through all the meals our wonderful friends dropped off for us, so the days of "real food for mom and dad and hotdogs for the kids" are over, as I'll be damned if I'm cooking two dinners, even if one is just hotdogs. There was whininess, followed by tears, followed by surliness, then I completely overreacted, then we both apologized, a few bites were choked down and washed down with milk, and we worked together on a little project to help the other two family members, whom, it turns out, didn't really want a show with their dinner.