This morning I came downstairs to the best surprise. Every morning I have the same routine. The rabbit gets fed first and then the cats get fed, followed by taking the dog outside to take care of business and grab the newspaper. Bella and I come in for her breakfast and I sit down with the newspaper and my tea for just a few minutes before I get to work. Every morning at 6:35 Claire pops her head over the balcony with a sleepy, “Good morning.” And that’s when I know it’s time to truly get busy with the day.

After taking care of the animals, my first chore is always to unload the dishwasher. This morning, it was already done. I did a mental happy dance and threw up my hands in appreciation for the small, kind, thoughtful gesture.

Usually, I’m the last one up at night. Just like most mamas I need to make sure things are taken care of and ready to roll for the next morning. Throw in a load of laundry. Start making lunches. Fill the cats’ bowls. Refill the dog’s water bowl. Fold a load of laundry. Start the dishwasher. Lock up the house. But last night, I was beyond exhausted and all I wanted was to sink into a deep, warm tub.  And I left most of those chores undone, except for starting the dishwasher. Last night, I was one of the first ones upstairs.

When I cam down this morning, and I saw the dishwasher was already unloaded, I wondered who did it. I know it’s just a little thing; the dishwasher being unloaded. But the thoughtfulness of this little gesture was just what I needed.

I knew Stan didn’t do it, not because I don’t think he’s thoughtful enough to do it, but because he was in our room as I luxuriated in the tub. I kind of wished it was Zach, but I didn’t think so. Part of me really wanted it to be Lucas, but it seemed a far stretch. I knew in my heart it had to be Claire. She had to have been the kind and thoughtful soul who saw I needed a little pampering myself.

When Claire came down for breakfast she confirmed my suspicions when she said, “Did you like my surprise? I unloaded the dishwasher for you!” I threw my arms around her, thanked her profusely and finished getting everyone ready for the morning. Her thoughtful gesture got me to thinking why it is my girl kiddo seems to understand, and embody, thoughtfulness more than my boy kiddos.

Is it this way in every family? Or is it just ours? Are boys more inherently thoughtless or did I just raise mine this way?  And how I can I change it so that the future women in their lives don’t curse me up one side and down the other for raising thoughtless boys?

I think I have some work to do…for the love of my children.

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