Three Hundred Twenty Three: Exasperated Excitement

“You’re my favorite reason to lose sleep.”  – Unknown

Thursday, November 20th

I have friends who have a family much like my own. Two parents, an older daughter, and a younger son. Today their daughter turned 10, and I was surprised by how much I saw the father fawn and gush over her birthday.

He told me that he’d woken up the night before (just after midnight when she was born) and played through her birth in his mind. He’d sent an email out announcing her birthday, brought pies to a big dinner to share with everyone, and told everyone on the sidewalk that it was her special day.

Why wouldn’t I expect that he would froth over with excitement over her birthday? Simply because I assume he just doesn’t have the energy to. Most of the time this particular man is explaining why his family is running on empty. He has an active six-year-old son, an adventurous wife with a lucrative career, and a daughter with Down’s Syndrome and ADHD.

This family is very open and frank about their challenges, more so than I am comfortable sharing and their lives are filled with a certain degree of chaos because of school-doctor-specialist appointments to enhance their daughter’s life while also trying to create a healthy space for their son to grow up in too. As I write about this topic one week late on Thanksgiving Day – November 27th – stuffing pumpkin pie in my mouth in between lines written, I think about how quiet and empty my house feels with the kids staying overnight at their grandparents’ house. All the little things that the kids do to annoy me throughout the day are the things I’m missing right now in their absence. The way my kids cry as we carry them inside to the house from the car after a long day of visiting with family. The way I can’t even get my son out of his jeans and into pajamas when he’s that tired. My daughter’s breath when she hasn’t brushed the night before. The love for your child trumps all those little things, especially when you have the objectivity and space from them to see it.

Can you rise above it all to see what really matters?


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