Over dinner with the children (and the He…He stayed to hang with the kids I guess), the subject of me working on my day off came up.
“Enjoy your day off,” He said. “I know I would.”
I pointed to the children playfully and said “Even when I’m off I’m never really off…I have another job to tend to.”
“That’s what parents do,” the He said very matter of factly, as if I was wrong to have the audacity to want space…a real day off. If looks could kill he would have been dead.
I am very aware of what parents do. I’ve been doing it for quite sometime. No, not as good as others and most likely better than some. But my children (I do hope dearly) aren’t violent or mean or rude or hateful. They aren’t just floating through life with no goals or ambitions. Sure they have a problem with not leaving their shoes in the middle of the floor or not walking empty water bottles to the trash, but that’s not out of the ordinary.
I suppose my statement at dinner came from the unspoken realization that I’m on 24/7. At least when I was sharing a household with their father, I could sneak away and have a stolen moment to myself, but those days are long gone. Now it’s a constant barrage of teenage attitudes and the sibling push and pull. The constant reminders to do homework & change socks & take a shower fall on me to deliver to half-deaf ears. The daily tiffs over front seat privileges and pouting over things I don’t get the privilege to pout over (like new shoes and allowance) all fall on me to sift through.
This isn’t to say the He doesn’t do what’s in his job description. He does what fits him and his life. I, however, don’t get the luxury. Someone has to make trips to practice and manage to cook dinner in one fail swoop.
This weekend was suppose to be not my weekend, however, it is (previous approved plans). A music festival is in town, Young Gun finally has a free Saturday, & Trinidad is itching to go dancing. I wanted desperately to enjoy some company of someone over the age of 13 who could appreciate a stiff drink or an R rated movie. But…Someone has to keep watch right?
Instead of wishing I could be a carefree adult for 48hrs at least…coming home in the wee hours of the morning, girl chatting at a restaurant, or talking under the stars about everything and nothing at all, I grabbed some pizza and a couple of movies. We sat in the living room stretched out and carb wasted, safe…sound…happy. On my way to bed, I looked into The Boy’s room only to find him curled up still in his school clothes, mouth open, lightly snoring. His sister curled up in her bed, in her room, only hair peeking from beneath the covers. As I closed their doors one by one, I smiled. The He was right…this is what parents do. This is what parents get to see. This is what parents get to experience. I couldn’t ask for a better paying job. It’s rough and tumble. It’s nerve wracking at times, but in those moments of ease and simplicity it all seems worth it.
My hat tips to those men and women who take it on alone…who get the daily load of raising children–whether divorced, widowed, military spouse, business spouse, accidental parent, and everything in between. You do a great job and you are doing exactly what God intended…giving yourself in service out of love. That’s the Job. That’s the real job, isn’t it?