Saturday, April 4, 2015

The Purpose of Family Time

Will is back from the hospital (finishing his charts before tonight's shift), Grace is napping in her crib, and Laura is napping in her swing. I'm answering e-mails from parents and students, with the occasional glance out the window at the sunshine. The wind is strong today - the tree branches are whacking the front of the house, and I can hear it whirling past the house.

A happy Holy Saturday, indeed.

I've organized files, folded laundry, took a shower and napped. I fed the girls breakfast (and snack); Will woke up after his late shift, cleaned the kitchen and fixed us all lunch. We watched the new episode of Castle, danced to MGMT, played piggy bank with Grace and cleaned up. We practiced walking with Grace and did stretches. I'll massage her after she is awake from her nap.

One of the hardest parts of residency is finding time to be together as a family. After lurching from everything we have to do, the introvert in me often wants to find a corner and just be. Will often needs to decompress after a long shift.

Realistically, being alone does not happen even when I am using the loo so that certainly cannot happen when anyone is awake. Grace has a Dad Sense, and if he is within 100 yards of the house, she will crawl around the house saying, "Da! Da!" until she finds him. (Which, with my help, is often sooner than later.) She also has a Mom Is Busy sensor, which leads her to knock on my door while I am working. If I am just prepping, I will always invite her inside. Sweet Laura is almost always with me, except when I am teaching. Fortunately, she snoozes enough to let me rest too.

Will and I can both feel burned out, especially when they are both crying at the same time. Sometimes, I feel bad handing Laura to him after a long shift - and then I remember that I've worked all day too, and we're a team. I'm not the nanny.

The most important parts of family time are the unglamorous times. It's getting up in the middle of the night (and in the morning, for that matter!), the paperwork, the appointments, the cleaning, the bill paying (and budgeting), the job working, the sacrifices, and honoring our duties. This is the glue; this is the reason we are together: to care for each other. 

The perks of family time include indulging in photograph opportunities, dressing up my girls, learning and growing together, playtime, enjoying each other's company, and mostly - sharing a life together in love.

Family isn't always fancy or fun, but it can be. Children are never too young to learn about the right attitude. Grace is 18 months now, and she's already trying to unload the silverware and un-fold the laundry with us. We turn on music, dance around, and get our chores done. Without specifically saying so to her, we are modeling stewardship. We want her to contribute to family life not just because she has to, but because she is willing to help because she is a member of the Baldwin family.

This Easter, all members of the Catholic Church are required to attend mass. Technically, we're required to attend every Sunday - but Easter and Christmas are high holy feast days. I'll get the girls dressed and we'll pick up Will from the hospital, fresh off night shift because stewardship is a gift we can never stop giving. We'll honor our God together as a family, and worship as a community. Then we'll go home - for Will to sleep, and for the girls to open their shared Easter basket. It'll be a low-key day, celebrating Jesus conquering death in our own small ways - unnoticed by most, and bringing glory to Him because we love.
"Christ strode through the gate of our final loneliness; in his Passion he went down into the abyss of our abandonment. Where no voice can reach us any longer, there He is. Hell is thereby overcome, or, to be more accurate, death, which was previously hell, is hell no longer. Neither is the same any longer because there is life in the midst of death, because love dwells in it." --Joseph Ratzinger
Have a blessed Easter, all!

1 comment:

  1. Oof, I can so relate to all the craziness (though, granted, I do not have another job and my husband has a more predictable schedule!!) but the worth-it-ness of being the family we are! You are doing an amazing job. Enjoy it as much as you possibly can!!