I am sure every young girl has heard the expression “you have to kiss a lot of frogs to find your prince.” I am equally as sure that every adult woman has lived this parable. I am no exception, except that most of the frogs in my past were more apt to be toads.

This idea occurred to me during my recent period of convalescence where, by doctor’s orders, I was instructed to “take it easy” and let my family do everything for me. I wish the doctor could write that on a prescription pad that a pharmacist would put on my file at the drug store so that whenever I am tired, frustrated or just plain lazy I could fill that prescription and insist that everyone in my household do their chores and mine.

During the May long weekend, my only job was to sit still and remain out of the direct sunlight. Parked in my lawn chair, useless and wilted, I was like a potted plant. Whenever the sun moved to my area, the Carpenter and our two children would rush over, pull me up out of the chair, relocate the chair to the shade, and then plant me in it again. My family moved with such speed and accuracy it reminded me of the mechanics at an Indy race, where the car doesn’t move but a zillion things happen to that car before they set it down again. Amazing. Amusing. Embarrassing too.

There I sat, while my beloved Carpenter spun around our home and yard like the Tazmanian devil. If he wasn’t cutting the grass, setting up the family pool, taking down the trampoline and fixing bikes, he was hanging laundry, making lunch and planning dinner, while tending to the children and myself. He created three beautiful gardens too. The man never stopped. It was sexy and exhausting to watch. It turns out he can be both the mom and dad with equal skill.  I should have been overjoyed, but I felt redundant.

Is there anything more pathetic than a Mommy rendered useless, I pondered? Yes, that’s right, I cued up the violins and prepared my pity party. I couldn’t stand up to wash dishes or do the laundry. I couldn’t push the vacuum or stoop to scoop out the cat litter box. Whoa-is-me.

Do you believe in signs? I do. My sign popped out of the garden right before my feet. It came in the form of a lumpy, squatted brown toad with huge, dark bulging eyes and a chest that bobbed in and out for dramatic effect.

We made eye contact. Frozen in time. He was probably thinking, “look at that sad lump of a woman. Tsk, tsk.”

There was a time when the sight of a toad would have had me leap out of the chair. I could not leap.  I knew the toad was a sign of something: a metaphor perhaps?

I introduced the toad to the Carpenter, who immediately set to work building the toad a flagstone toad house where the little fellow could become a permanent resident in our new garden. Seriously?

Yes, Mr. Toad, I may have kissed a few frogs, er, toads in my time, but let me assure you my amphibian friend, I have found my prince.  And I appreciate him.

“In sickness and in health” aren’t just words; they are a commitment. Thanks dear Carpenter for keeping your word, always.