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Few Days in My Wife's Shoes Part II

The prophet Ezekiel warned Israelites when they were in captivity, on how they should live, from a distance. However, when he had first hand experience, by being in their condition, all he said was, "?And I sat where they sat and remained there astonished among them for seven days" (Ezekiel 3:15).

Being in-charge of our home for five days while my wife attended a conference was an eye opener as to how I had never been in her shoes. I was astonished by how much I learned about her efficiency and how little I knew about our children's programs even though I claim to be involved in their lives.

First I learned that losing your keys when you just had them in the house was not an inherited trait. Hours after she left I couldn't find the keys I rarely remove from my pockets. I had somehow associated losing keys with motherhood. I watched my grandmother look for lost keys. My mother's case of looking for lost keys was a daily show. She assigned us, those with ability to listen and carry out instructions a section of the compound or room, anywhere she might have been within the last 12 hours, to search for her keys as she prepared to go to the shops.

Anyone can misplace keys?but I had done it less significantly than my beloved wife-until the day she left for the conference. With my thoughts scattered on unreturned business phone calls, unwritten articles and more importantly, children's after school programs, the whereabouts of my keys just complicated my life. My wife, when in my situation just says, "Honey?can I please have the key to the van?" If time allows she may add, "I can't find mine." Well, my honey was not there and you can imagine my gratitude when I found her set of keys-oh, how thoughtful of her to leave them where I could find them.

I had not known how opportunistic I could be. A day before I was left in-charge, I had noticed an announcement of "A Dinner and A Book" (you eat free dinner and get a free book) to be held at the Boise public library on the second day of my wife's absence. The program was to start at 6:00pm. I called impromptu meeting the night before the event. The message was simple and to the point-no folktales or metaphors that could be misinterpreted. I said "We have to be at the Boise public library at 5:50pm. That would give us time to find seats near where they will be serving pizza! So Lucille you have to promise to shower and dress in 5 minutes after your game." Our second night dinner puzzle was solved.

Keeping up with children?s schedule had never been a big issue, when my wife was home. But when Lucille didn't come home by 3:30pm, I wondered whether I had heard well when she said they wouldn't have a game that day. I thought, well then, they must be in practice until 4:00pm. I would pick her up and head to her siblings' school where they were to play chess till quarter to five. At 4:00pm I was at Lucille's gym where I learned practice ends 4:30pm. When we arrived at my other children's school, they were long gone because the chess program had been cancelled.

How come schedules run smoothly when my wife is at home? I know when to pick whom and from where. All this confusion occurred even though I had made effort to leave work at least two hours earlier, just in case.

I could help but remember a story of a woman who stormed out a training session while dialing her mobile phone. Her colleague followed, fearing for the worst, and gathered courage to ask her, "Are you ok? Is everything at home fine?" She responded, "Oh sure?I am just reminding my husband to take out the garbage cans." The surprised colleague asked, "Wouldn't he take it out anyway?" The answer to that was, "You know, my hands are not strong to carry the garbage cans and my husband can never remember to take them out unless I remind him. We just work together."

My wife's absence brought revelation on the importance of dad and Mom, working together even in those activities that seem trivial.

I accidentally found my keys mixed with toys in day three. It remains a mystery how they got there. Again, my professional output was dismal.

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