My one-minute-younger daughter, girlb, woke me up today, much like any other day, far too early in the morning.
She slept through the night–if by sleeping through the night, we mean to say that she had a bottle in the 11 o’clock hour and woke up again around 6. (Of course, any time infant parents refer to sleeping through the night, we’re speaking in the strictest of terms.) As she lay in the swing, plowing through her bottle, I found myself soaking in the moment.
On the one hand, I love that I have been able to spend the past month at home with wife-mama and the babies. Because of their time in the NICU and girlb’s extra time in the hospital being treated for the nascent stages of NEC, I felt like I missed out on the fun stuff early on. I’ve bonded with the twins in a way that I couldn’t before–certainly not for a lack of trying–and it’s been so gratifying to see them wiggle and squirm and grow (and finally grow hair!)
On the other, the reason I’ve been afforded this opportunity is because I’m without a job. And as we’ve lapped a month and are starting month number two, the anxieties of where, what, when and how are beginning to build in earnest.
As I picked girlb up from the swing, and she nestled her head against my neck and shoulder, I was reminded of how badly I don’t want my girls to grow up ever knowing or experiencing the angst of being part of a family on the brink. I only want them to know how much they are loved, how wife-mama and I will do whatever we can to ensure their safety, health and happiness. I only want them to know the good things in life, the fruit of the Spirit, if you will. Little children, don’t grow up.
Of course, these days, weeks and months of innocence won’t last: eventually, like the rest of us, they’ll succumb to a fragmented world and be indelibly exposed to just how crappy it can be. Not this morning, though: not today, not yet. And, with any divine grace and providence at all, they’ll never realize just how desperate we were to keep us in our home, the lights on and food on the table.
I hope they’ll never realize that I was here in the bread line, anxiously awaiting deliverance from it. I thanked God for being up at a most ungodly hour, and asked for the Spirit’s presence to sustain and keep us in the meantime.
My daughter woke me up today.
Dispatches from the Bread Line are week-daily blog posts until I’m employed again.