If you didn't already know, Alex is a daddy's girl.
Today we spent the morning with Paul. Call nights are the only chance we have to spend a morning with Paul because every other day of the week he's long gone before we ever wake up. Call shifts at Mayo are from 1pm to 6pm...as in 6pm the NEXT day. 30 hours. So we spend the morning with him, he comes home the next night a complete zombie and crashes, usually attempts to wake-up and spend an hour with the kids before they go to bed, at which point he goes back to bed too, leaves at 5am the next morning and works another 12-14 hours. But I'm getting off the subject...
Today when it was time for him to leave Alex screamed "NO!" ran to him, threw her arms around his neck, and wouldn't let go. It was so sweet and so sad. I was torn between laughing and crying and ended up doing a little of both.
This was her face after daddy left.
She just sat there and said, "Why is daddy gone?"
Don't feel too bad for her though. On call nights Alex gets to sleep in bed with mommy : ) And after a few rounds of singing "I'm So Glad When Daddy Comes Home" she cheers right up.
Yes, Paul's hours are sometimes hard on the kids. But it's also been great to see them light up when he gets home. I think they appreciate their time with him more than they used to - especially Noah. He's always been kind of a momma's boy, but now he loves to talk to daddy when he calls from the hospital, cheers when he comes home, and even gives "bear hugs" and loves to "steal kisses." Noah is typically very anti-physical affection, so this is a huge bonus!
As for Paul...well, I don't know how he does it. His job is extremely high stress and the hours are long and grueling. But when he's home he gives us everything he's got. He helps around the constantly messy house, listens to his starved-for-adult-interaction wife talking his ear off, and plays with his 2 kids who are inevitably bouncing off the walls the minute he walks in the door.
Sometimes it's hard for me to put myself in his shoes or to understand what his days are really like. I'm not a doctor, nor have I ever worked in a hospital. The only time I've been a patient in the hospital is when I had my babies, and trust me, being a patient really gives you NO idea about what life is like on the other side of things, for the doctors.
A couple of days ago Paul ended up coming home several hours later than usual. Why? The family members of one of his very sick patients showed up. They had a family conference about what to do for their family member and whether or not they should withdraw care. It was complicated because, as you can imagine, there were differing opinions on the subject. Which is why the needed the counsel, advice, guidance, and direction of the patients doctor.
It was very strange for me to imagine. It was one of those light-bulb going off in the head moments. I found myself thinking, "Oh yeah...you're a DOCTOR."
I don't share any of this to brag. Trust me, there is not a lot of glory or glamour in this life we are living. But it does help me to document my thoughts, to get them out there.
It also seems that it's when Paul is gone that I realize and appreciate all that he does and all that he means to our family.
But I too, have learned to treasure our time with him. I LOVE when he has a day off, especially if it falls on a weekend (a very rare occasion indeed). Saturday night, as I was gearing up for yet another day at church by myself with the kids Paul said, "Just think honey, I'll be at church with you on September 21st!"
So this is our life.
Paul works a lot. He's stressed out and exhausted a lot. I do a lot on my own. Which means I'm stressed out and exhausted a lot. Homeownership is hard. Money is tight.
But we LOVE living in Rochester. We're making good friends. We're part of a great ward. We've got a great place to live (even though I complain about it a lot). The kids are happy and busy. The summer has been beautiful. Noah starts preschool in a couple weeks and both of the kids are signed up for more community ed classes (Noah - spanish, Alex - gymnastics). We've got family coming out to visit next month. And did I mention yet that I love Rochester?
This is our life.
And I love it.