A lazy husband lies on the couch all day and scolds his wife about the mess in their house. Then one day, while he’s scolding his wife again, her 14-year-old son comes into play. This day heralds a series of household changes.
After police officer Zach Ownes sustained a leg injury, he had to take sick leave and his wife, Lydia, had to fill in as the family breadwinner. She worked long hours as a nurse, often night shifts and up to 18 hours a day, but Zach never bothered to help her, instead complaining of knee pain and spending all day on the couch.
But Zach hadn’t always been like this. Initially he had helped Lydia with the housework and made dinner when she came home from work. But lately he has had various excuses for not being able to help Lydia around the house, the main one being that he was “hurt”.
Lydia was tired of this stressful life and resented that Zach didn’t even bother to help her. But like any other woman, she kept her mouth shut because she didn’t want her family to break up. But one day it got too much and she yelled at Zach.
“Lydia! Get over here now!” Zach yelled at her from the living room while she was busy helping her son Adam with his school project. That day, Lydia had come back from work early to help Adam, and instead of preparing dinner and cleaning up the dirty dishes, she decided to do Adam’s project first. Zach and his friends were busy watching a soccer game and drinking beer.
“I can’t come right now, Zach. I’m helping Adam! If it’s something important, text me!” she replied.
Zach didn’t reply and Lydia found that odd because he usually yelled at her. Lydia figured it was nothing important and decided to ask Zach about it later. But shortly afterwards he stormed into Adam’s room and roared at the top of his lungs.
“Text you? Do you think I’m your servant? Have you seen how messy the kitchen is? Who’s going to clean it?”
“Excuse me?” Lydia shot back. “Can’t you see I’m busy with something? And by the way, you and your friends made the mess. So admit it and stop yelling at me. Also, I’m assuming your friends have already left, Zach. Like So would you mind helping me out for a change? You can see I’m busy with Adam’s school project.”
“Wow!” Zach stared at her. “Where do you get the courage to yell at me Lydia? Did someone set you up against me at work? Do you go and cry about how awful a husband I am?”
“STOP, ZACH!” Lydia jumped up. “Don’t forget that our son is watching us! Just tell me one thing: what’s your problem? I work 18 hours a day, come home and take care of the house. But for you that’s never enough! When I make a meat pie , you want noodles. If I cook the noodles, you want the meat pie, damn it! I’m helping our son, Zach! He’s got a competition coming up at school. At least for his sake shut up. I’m begging you! You just be toxic!”
“Stop making me the bad guy in this situation, Lydia. You can’t do anything right! You’re doing everything half-heartedly and that’s why…” Before Zach could finish his sentence, Adam got off the bed and stormed out of the room. Zach started making fun of Lydia again and calling her a bad wife.
Suddenly, Adam returned to the room and pulled Lydia and Zach into the living room, where he gestured that he had something to show them. Perplexed, Lydia and Zach walked into the living room, where Adam motioned for them to sit down and turn on the television
A slideshow of images and videos appeared on the screen with the introduction: “My dream is to be like my mother. The superhero and role model of my life.”
It turned out that Adam was due to give a presentation about his role model for an upcoming competition, and he had chosen Lydia as the subject.
The presentation featured random shots of Lydia working around the house, arriving late from work and going straight to the kitchen. Then there was a segment where Adam set the camera and interviewed Lydia in sign language. “Why do you always work so hard mom?” was his first question. “Why don’t you ask dad or me to help you?”
Lydia smiled at Adam and responded in sign language, which the captions translated as: “It’s never hard to do extra work for the people you love. You’re often busy with your school stuff Adam, so that’s fine . And Dad’s hurt, so it’s okay if he doesn’t want to help me.”
The questions that followed related to the difficulties she had at work, around the house and taking care of a “difficult child” like him because he was mute.
Lydia immediately replied that she loves her family so much that she would do anything for them. She then corrected Adam, explaining that he was not a difficult child but a handicapped child and that she loved him as any mother loves her child.
Zach was speechless at this point and Lydia couldn’t hold back her tears. When the presentation ended, photos of Lydia and Adam appeared on the screen along with the statement, “Thank you for being such a wonderful mommy to make me happy. I love you.” Zach noted that he wasn’t seen once during the entire presentation. No pics of him with Adam. No hymns of praise for him. Nothing.
Overcome with guilt, Zach got up and left the room. He felt terrible and wanted to apologize to Lydia, but he was too ashamed. So he took it easy and a few days later made Lydia a hair appointment and asked her to take a day off.
Lydia laughed and said, “It’s okay Zach. Thanks for that, but I’m very busy. I can’t make time for this.” But Zach insisted that she go to the hairdresser, and she eventually agreed.
She was late to the salon that day and she was afraid Zach would be angry and yell at her when she got home. But when she got home, she saw that the whole living room was dark, adorned with lighted candles leading from the door to the living room table and rose petals covering all the way.
As soon as she turned on the light, a booming voice sounded in the room: “HAPPY BIRTHDAY, LYDIA!!!”
Lydia noticed her friends, parents and Zach in the living room and a cake on the table. She had been so busy with work that she forgot her birthday! Then she realized that Zach’s plan had been to send her to the drawing room so he could arrange everything.
Zach approached her with a bouquet of her favorite flowers and got on his knees. “My dear wife, I hope you enjoyed the surprise. Happy birthday to you, my dear,” he said. Then he pulled a box from his pocket that contained a beautiful diamond pendant.
“May I?” he asked and she nodded.
After the cake was cut, Lydia opened her presents. She hadn’t been this happy in a long time.
Before she went to bed that night, Zach helped her tidy the living room and wash the dishes, promising never to be so hard on her again. “I’ll never yell at you again, Lydia. I apologize for being so mean to you the whole time!” he said, taking her hand in his. I asked my boss and he said I can go back to work tomorrow.”
Lydia hugged Zach with tears in her eyes, glad he had changed for the better. “Thank you, sweetheart. I’m so glad you saw your mistake and corrected it. This is the best birthday present I’ve ever received. I love you.”
“I love you too, honey,” Zach said, wrapping his arms around her. As they were about to leave the kitchen, they saw Adam standing there.
“What happened honey? Do you need something?” Lydia asked him.
But Adam shook his head and indicated in sign language that he was proud of Zach.
What can we learn from this story?
Always be there for those who love and care about you. Zach realized how Lydia was trying to make ends meet because she loved him and Adam, and he realized that mocking her was wrong.
Be a role model for your children. Zach realized how he ruined his image in Adam’s eyes for being a bad father and husband, and he made it up to him.