Monday, November 5
Giving Thanks: Week 1
I know everyone else is doing this daily on Facebook, but while I feel like making the effort, I don't feel like sharing it quite so publicly. For one, the things I'm grateful for are different this month than they would have been had I not been so close to having a baby... it's kind of hard to explain that in a little status update.
1- I'm grateful that Zach is on a service this month with a resident who doesn't want to play martyr and keep themselves and all their co-workers late every day for no reason. Last month Zach could have come home early a couple times a week, but his chief had a complex and wanted everyone to stay until sign-out "just because." Ridiculous. Zach is amazing and takes it in stride. I wouldn't be able to keep my mouth shut. This month he's on with an awesome guy who doesn't have anything to prove, and only requires what is necessary from the residents. Zach got to come home early for Halloween, so the kids got to go around the Trunk-or-Treat with him and we had our trunk a little decorated. Then he got to come home early again yesterday and today. We were worried he'd go another two weeks with no day off, but he almost got two!
Which brings me to number 2- I'm so grateful for Zach. I've heard about and met so many husbands- not just from my own acquaintance, but since the beginning of the internet, wives have had ample opportunity to brag about their spouses or ridicule them with a wide audience. It's sad that some days it takes the comparison to remind me just how extraordinary is the man I married, but I guess it's good that I realize it somehow.
People ask what his schedule is and when I tell them about his 90+hour work weeks they just shake their heads. One guy said "He must just come home and crash." He doesn't. For more than a month now I've been moving at a snail's pace, and most of my energy is being expended on the girls' schooling. He comes home after a thirteen, fourteen hour day, and helps me finish making dinner since I can't stand very long any more. Or when he's late he doesn't complain about whatever concoction I've pulled together. He finishes the dishes I got halfway through. He puts the girls to bed and goes down to maintain his fish tank or the lawn or the bills. He goes to the store, puts together Kael's new toddler bed, and drops off my library books on the way. Then he comes back up after I've gotten Kael put to bed and helps me fold laundry while we watch 20 or 30 minutes of a movie. Then he showers and goes to bed early so he can have enough energy to do it all again the next day.
It obviously hasn't been like this forever, and it will be a lot easier once I'm up and about again. But the fact that he is capable of such selflessness for such a long period is just so admirable to me. There's more about him I'm grateful for, but I'm saving that for another day.
3- I'm grateful for disposable diapers and plates. I am always behind on laundry and dishes lately, and Kael has had the runs off and on for the last two weeks. I think I know why- he thinks it is SO funny to lick things that get a rise out of his sisters. Including standing water from outside. I try and tell him his tummy will hurt if he licks yucky things, but he just smiles and repeats "Yucky... sings?" Clueless. But I don't have to wash his diapers, and I don't have to wash as many dishes for the next couple of weeks!
4- I'm grateful for Mia. Just typing her name brings tears to my eyes. Yeah, I'm hormonal, but still. ;) This girl turned 7 less than two months ago. And she has been as big a help to her family as any teen could have been. Yeah- she's got her share of attitude and silly giggle-itis when left to her own devices. But when I'm in a bind, physically or with her siblings, she's right there suggesting ways she can help. She's answered the phone calls I couldn't get to in time, run upstairs about ten times a day on some errand, helped dress her little brother for church, made mac and cheese bowls for herself and her siblings while I lay contracting in the other room. This pregnancy has been a beast the last couple of months. My last check-up confirmed I was already dilated to a 2, and sent me into major contractions for following two days. At one point when huge ones were coming two minutes apart and I couldn't move or talk, I almost headed for the hospital. But Mia was right there to bring me my vitamins and a cup of water. The contractions went away after an hour. Instead of whining about all the things I am not doing for her lately, each day this kid asks me excitedly if she can be in charge of something new.
This morning I was worried we'd have to forgo the twins' hair-washing before church- I was in a lot of pain. I told them to get in the bath and Mia called down saying they all wanted to shower. I said I couldn't stand to wash their hair, so I needed them to do a bath. She solved that right away: "I'll just wash it! Pleeeeease can we do a shower instead??" She did a good job. I'm so grateful for such a capable, good-natured, willing little girl. She's such a good example to every one in her family.
5- I'm grateful for my church. Today I'm actually thinking of the social rather than religious aspects. My sweet friend has taken my kids with hers to the park, and field trips while I've watched our youngest boys. Kael gets along so well with his little buddy. She even took them to our (stake-sponsored) soccer game last week. Every Sunday my kids get to be with other wonderful kids and learn about the gospel from their wonderful parents. We had a safe and fun place to trick-or-treat in our church parking lot surrounded by people we know and trust. If it weren't for the church community we're a part of, my kids would have a really bad month-old case of cabin fever right about now.