Today, I took Laura in for her six month evaluation and vaccines. Unsurprisingly, she is top of her class percentage wise for weight, head circumference and height (in that order!). Grace was extremely well-behaved once she realized that she would not get her head measured, and showed off her AFO and walking to Dr. M.
In the past few weeks, I have been searching for a new babysitter. Our former one got a new job with more hours, and we encouraged her to take it. Unfortunately, the search is (still) on.... I taught class yesterday, and I teach class again next Tuesday. I am trying not to worry about who will watch my children, but, I'm picky and I'm limited in my resources.
Will's salary covers our east-coast COL, roughly, and so the babysitter's salary must come out of my salary; and my salary - as an online history teacher - is not sizable. Then there's the hours we're asking - very part-time, but we pay fairly.
I get why people wait to have kids - it can feel really overwhelming. Expenses are almost the least of it; the time put into caring for them is more than 24/7 - it's a calling to care, a vocation to love. How can I best care for my children, even when I'm working? You the Parent have to take care of them; the little people depend on you! I see it in both the girls: the way Grace watches us and brightens up during play time or meal time; whenever Laura catches our eye.
This experience has highlighted an bygone era of villages raising children. I wish there was more community help set up in our parish, because I am sure there are numerous retired ladies who want to play with babies for a couple hours a day. Or even a parish day center in the area! It seems so vital, especially for young mothers who need more support. If the Church wants to support the vocation of marriage and the call of parenthood, she needs to respond in practicalities as well as prayer.
Each parish has their own calling, I know. To be fair, I'm surprised Will's hospital does not have a day care facility. It's the second largest employer in the region, a top 100 hospital in the country and no child care support?! There is an independent day care center one block away, but they do not have enough space for the demand. I would have to put the girls on a waiting list! (Remind me to get on my soapbox later and write them a letter.) Well! At least I have two students whose schedules could fit us in. Fingers crossed we have good interviews, compatibility and hire within the week.
Last night Will joked that all he does is make money and set up mouse traps (trap: 2, mouse: 0) while I keep the family going, the girls happy and complete my school work (teach and graduate). While residency is not easy, I had to laugh too - it feels that way!
He makes the girls so happy too, and that is the easiest gift to give them - the best gift. No toy is better than time spent with people who love and cherish you.
The paperwork will never end, the to-do list may never be accomplished, and the house never stays clean - adult life means you're always giving, always trying harder. That is good. It is good to exert yourself to help another, and to make life more beautiful for yourself and your family.
It is in giving out of love - not just duty or obligation or begrudgingly - that we experience the kind of euphoria intended to spur us on when it's tough being an adult, making all the decisions, being responsible for chores and taxes and catching the mouse that chewed on your dining room rug...
Pope Francis said at the Meeting with the Volunteers of the XXVIII World Youth Day (July 28, 2013):
"In encouraging you to rediscover the beauty of the human vocation to love, I also urge you to rebel against the widespread tendency to reduce love to something banal, reducing it to its sexual aspect alone, deprived of its essential characteristics of beauty, communion, fidelity and responsibility.
Dear young friends, “in a culture of relativism and the ephemeral, many preach the importance of ‘enjoying’ the moment. They say that it is not worth making a life-long commitment, making a definitive decision, ‘for ever’, because we do not know what tomorrow will bring.
I ask you, instead, to be revolutionaries, I ask you to swim against the tide; yes, I am asking you to rebel against this culture that sees everything as temporary and that ultimately believes you are incapable of responsibility, that believes you are incapable of true love. I have confidence in you and I pray for you. Have the courage to ‘swim against the tide’. And also have the courage to be happy.”This, of course, is the best part of being an adult: happy doing your thing, because wherever you've been: you're here now. Wherever you're going, you're here; rejoice and be glad. Life is hard and imperfect, but we can still enjoy it. Give more than you get, and love every minute you can.
|It's really hot here... but we're loving it.|