Family Alive

Brian, Kristine, Analise, and Josiah Toone

A moment of wishful thinking

23rd January 2008

Every now and then there’s a day that I find myself wishing I was back in the working world, like my UC Davis Emergency Medicine office. Today happened to be one of those days, though admittedly, they were only fleeting thoughts.

I know that I’m so lucky to be doing what I’m doing. And I wouldn’t trade my choice to be at home with my kids for anything. But some things about working out in the real world sometimes seem very appealing.

I used to be able to get to start work at the appointed time, a very reasonable 8:00am. I’d spend the day tackling projects, replying to emails, having adult conversations, checking things off my To Do list one by one. Such a sense of accomplishment! And though there were interruptions, they were usually brief, and it was quite possible to see the end of most tasks. At the end of the day, I would wrap things up, leave my desk in order and my files put away, walk out the door at the leisurely hour of 5pm, and not to think of work again for 15 hours.

Today, on the other hand, I woke up tired and sick with a cold at the dark hour of 5:15 to convince Josiah that it wasn’t morning yet. Analise got cold in her bed and joined us somewhere in the 6 o’clock hour, flopping and squirming so that I didn’t sleep much more. I spent the day cleaning and picking up, and I had a glorious sense of accomplishment for 5 minutes as Analise’s room was all neat and clean. Then she was so pleased with her orderly room that she was inspired to play in it, so of course, it definitely looks lived in now. I’ve got a million things I’m in the middle of doing, at least 10 I’d really LOVE to be doing. For example, Analise and I started to make some hairbows today, but we got interrupted by a hungry Josiah and lunch time, and then the 3-year old attention span was lost to PBS’s Between the Lions, the end of which always signals naptime in our house. So the ribbons and clips are still strewn on the table, waiting for another chance, until Analise finds them when I’m not looking and starts practicing her cutting, and I find her snipping our ribbon to little pieces. We did have a great time building castles with dominoes and blocks this afternoon, but then they were strewn all over the living room as Josiah knocked our towers down, tossing dominoes every which way. Things are picked up now as I’m still ingrained to leave things in order at the end of the workday, even though I know that within 5 minutes of waking, it will be lived in again as .

The To Do list? Nothing crossed off. Interruptions? Countless. Adult conversations? Normally it’s minimal, but luckily tonight was our Life Group, so I did get a couple of stimulating hours. Sense of accomplishment? Well, it was sorely lacking this afternoon. Until I was remembered that I’m working on a long-range project here. Each day is another block of building into these little lives, building hearts I hope will love and honor God. Each distracted and disconnected hour in my working world of trying to juggle laundry/snack requests/diaper changes/playtime is an hour I wouldn’t have gotten to spend with my sweeties if I had a different job. It’s another hour I get to see them grow and smile and play and cry and kiss their cheeks and wipe their noses (which, given the colds in our house, I probably did 27 times today).

So my moment of wishing for the real working world was brief. It hit me as we were getting ready for naptime, Josiah was grumbling through a diaper change, Analise was begging for a couple more minutes to play, and my head was aching for a rest. But after we were all settled down and I was snuggling next to Analise as she was falling asleep, I remembered why this is my chosen job. Not everyone can chose what I’ve chose, and I am a lucky woman.

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