After a short but rewarding trip to Tennessee this weekend to visit our families, the Birts returned home last night and unpacked. Julie had no problem putting Phoebe to bed quickly, and the boys weren't far behind.
Tonight, Julie felt under the weather and went to bed after dinner. The boys and I cleaned up after dinner, and Micah suggested we play a board game. Phoebe didn't appreciate being left out of the fun on her play mat, so I strapped her onto my chest with the baby carrier. She helped me think through the strategy of spinning the mini roulette wheel.
The game led to "clean up toys time," then "dessert time," then "shower time." All of these must be listed in air quotes because I have found it is necessary to declare these verbally and clearly. Otherwise, one of your children might accuse you of engaging in a run-around to cheat them of their precious play time.
I practically glided from one stop of the evening to the next not because I'm any good at it but because I had a safety net, and her name is Julie. Sure, she needed some extra rest tonight. But I had the comfort of knowing that one floor down, my wife is at the ready.
If only everyone had it so easy. It reminded me of the days in the past when I've been gone on business trips and Julie carried on without me, without complaining. I'm reminded that there are many single parents in the world, many military families worlds apart from their loved ones or far from home. The list goes on.
Tonight, I'm counting my blessings for the safety net God gave me. There isn't a better one available, and I would do well to give her a break every now and then. I'm hopeful that the next time Julie catches a break, it isn't because of her health.