In between recovering from the last month of the last year (moving out of our old home, moving in to our new home, friends visiting, my father-in-law's visit, my cousin's visit, my parents' visit, Christmas celebrations, celebrating the New Year in Kelowna), there was the week I battled strep throat, and passed it on to the wife. That same week, my daughter started pre-school and the wife interviewed for a new job. The following week, my wife got the job she interviewed for, at which point, our family was plunged into an entirely new schedule, and we all suffered through the cold the girl brought back from her first week of pre-school. Shortly after recovery, we spent some time with friends, registered the boy for kindergarten, and then my cousin came for another visit.
Still with me?
We are at the tail end of second month of the year and like most families, (after overcoming yet another cold virus cycle - that makes 3 sick cycles this year so far - if you're keeping up) the spectacle production of our days feature 2 pick-ups, 2 drop-offs, 2 full-time jobs, not to mention the very serious and laughable work of parenting - which includes but is not limited to: 3 meals, 2 snack intermissions, some sort of educational or creative or active adventure (preferably outdoor), television breaks, hugs, kisses, toddler tantrums, mommy tantrums, tickle fights, actual fights, all the clean up along the way, and then (finally) the dancing bedtime finale that ends with a final pirouette and spirit fingers when toddler eyelids drop like curtains.
Then of course, post-production activities ensue: strike whatever the living room and kitchen ended up looking like after the toddler frat party. Pre-set for for the opening breakfast number the following morning. Discuss parenting production notes with the wife. Knit-frog-knit-surrender-to-sleep.
Everyday is a comedy of errors, I tell you. Every day is full. Every day is an opportunity to restart, redo, reflect, reconnect, and get better at the craft.
I have vowed that every day there will be a glass of wine.
I turned 38 yesterday.
I spent 9 hours of my birthday with the wife, away from our daily performance as co-parents and worker-bees. We went to the ocean and amused ourselves with the triptych of water, sand, and snow. We visited with a friend. We ate Cambodian food (best chicken wings in the city, I think). We did a teensy bit of shopping.
While I enjoyed every second of it, wished for more time even in the moment, I missed my forever birthday gifts and fellow cast-members all together, centre stage.
This boy has been wrapping presents for me for weeks now, in anticipation of my birthday. Each gorgeous bundle is a meticulous wonder of tape, ribbon, and paper. Each wrapped token: a toy car, a single wooden block, a box of tea from the cupboard, his love, his intention to delight, all of his generosity, every ounce of his creativity.
This sweet little girl that hugged me happy birthday and tells me she loves me everyday. She sings to her own tune with her own lyrics. She, who loves to sit and be still, read to. She, who lets me hold her hand any time I want. She is everyday, her own gift.
This wife who works so hard to give me everything I want, to make all of us happy. Even when making me happy includes making me another throw pillow (because I really believe that there can never be enough, ever). Not only is she a true partner in every respect and I basically think she is the most adorable and best person on the planet, she bought me knitting needles for my birthday.
Today I am back to my regularly scheduled performance as myself at the job-that-pays, at home, and at heart.
I have been focusing on working hard for the job-that-pays, tempering the temper, laughing often, loving up on my family, mixing wine with chocolate (after actual working hours), then (hopefully) knitting.
How have you been?