Friday, November 7, 2014

Saturday Morning on a Friday

A post about life these days. Since I haven't really written about our everyday lives lately, I felt like this morning needed to be documented. I want to remember days like these; a snapshot into life right now.

Lately, the weeks seem to run into themselves as we try to make sense of a whacky and often unpredictable schedule. It used to be that weekends felt like weekends. We'd crash on Friday night, grateful for two days to relax and recover at the end of a long week. Big breakfasts have always been something we cherish and enjoy, a strong coffee always accompanying us through the first hours of the morning. Pandora stations were fine-tuned and playing comfortable, familiar music. Even though Jim had studying and I had lesson plans and grading to do, we normally made time for activities of recreation. Then Sunday evening would come and we'd gear up for another work/school week.

Now that residency has started, Jim's hours, schedule, and expectations have greatly increased. It's incredibly rare for him to have two days off in a row over the weekend. In fact, it hasn't happened in four months. We take days off and try to cherish every moment. Sometimes that is difficult because the lawn needs to be mowed or another chore has been calling Jim for a while. We try to limit those, but they inevitably come up in our household (especially when there's a handy man as talented as him). Mostly though, I try to get everything done so that we can enjoy just "being" together.

Today, a Friday, was a surprising day and one that we didn't expect. Jim is working a night shift from 6 PM tonight to 6 AM tomorrow morning. This meant that he came home last night and didn't have to get up and go to work this morning. Instead he needed to get enough rest at some point so that he could pull the night shift tonight.

Last night Jim told me he wanted to sleep in until 6 or 7 AM and then whenever Ian woke up was when he wanted to wake up, too. Did you find something funny in that last sentence? Yes, Jim wanted to sleep in until 6 or 7 AM. That's not a joke. For the last five months, with the exception of his ER month (which shouldn't even count because it was crazy the amount of days/nights and hours he pulled) Jim has been waking up between four and five in the morning, so sleeping until six and seven does truly give him extra, glorious hours.

Anyway, Ian woke up around 7:15 and also wanted to wake Jim up.  Ian's typical greeting is a "Hi Dada! Hi Dada!" as he walks, crawls and claws his way to pat his papa. It is one of the sweetest things I've seen as a parent and I know that it's incredibly meaningful to Jim every time.

After a few minutes of prying his eyes open, finding his voice, and greeting us, we talked about what we might eat for breakfast. Bacon, eggs, and fruit. Yum. And then Jim offered to make it while I entertained Ian. His only request was: "Could you put on some of your music to make it feel like Saturday morning?"

As soon as he said it, I knew exactly what he meant and my heart took a sigh. He wanted to harken back to the days when Saturdays were ours. When our schedules were predictable. When life had more gaps and we had more time.

Quickly, I got my old Pandora station that we always played up and running, the one he confirmed was what he wanted. We chatted as the whole family, even Leif, hung out on the linoleum in our rental's kitchen. We ate our delicious breakfast, sharing about things we hadn't yet gotten to share, laughing at Ian's banter, watching timidly as he fit ohsomuch food in his mouth while still chewing, and wondering when he'd figure out quite how to get milk out of a new sippy cup. After we'd cleaned up, Jim then asked if we could go for a walk. It was freezing cold, so we all bundled up and headed out.

The whole morning was almost nostalgic for me. They just don't come as often or as regularly as we're used to. I don't say this as a complaint about our situation. It's truly not my intention. We actually have lots of mornings like this when he's not working, but we are in a season when these mornings really are gems in the rough.

This afternoon, as I was driving around running errands and praying that Jim was getting good sleep at home, it made my heart warm to think about the morning we'd just had. I think what sticks with me was his desire to make it a "Saturday morning." He wanted to make this bonus morning together as special and purposeful as it could be.

It wasn't fancy. It wasn't glamorous. It wasn't planned. It was real. It was us. It was a good, familiar Saturday morning (just on a Friday). And I think it will get me through to remember this feeling. We have to create these days and these moments when we have them.

Some people have commented saying, "You guys are living the dream." Sometimes that stings a little because life isn't always a dream. I understand what they mean and our life is really good. We have our health, each other, a roof over our heads, food on our plates, and we have the most adorable little boy ever. But we'll be the first to admit that life isn't always pretty and life can be really hard. This season is teaching us a lot, just as every season before it, about ourselves, our weaknesses, and where we find our joy.

I'm so grateful that we had a "Saturday morning" on this brisk, November Friday.

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