As every parent knows, most of the time it is us taking care of our children. Whether it is cooking meals, drawing them a bath, or getting another Band-Aid for that minor (possibly invisible) scrape, a vast majority of our lives involves taking care of our kids. Every now and then though, they might have to return the favor. This has pretty much been the case for the last month, as I have been either broken or tired, and the girls have stepped up when I needed it most. Here is to the girls taking care of Dad.
The girls have been very understanding and accommodating given that I have just been exhausted since the holidays. I have been diligently working on my Intermediate-Level Education coursework for the Army, which essentially makes me eligible to be considered for promotion to Lieutenant Colonel, and have been hitting it very hard for the past three months. Mornings. Nights. Weekends. And the girls have weathered the storm with me through it all and have just been amazing. They know that I may need that extra 15 minutes of sleep on the weekends, so they have started going out to the Living Room to play in lieu of immediately jumping on my bed to wake me. They understand they may not get a song or a long conversation every night, as I still have two to three hours of homework to do after I turn their lights out. They are even doing more around the house to better support their “tired, old man Dad,” including helping me cook, clean, and do the dishes. Much appreciated, Girls.
So I got the second dose of the COVID vaccine in mid-February… and to say that it made me a little sick would be a bit of an understatement; it put me down for about 36 hours. Even going into work two days later, I was still nowhere near a hundred percent. I had warned the girls that I may be feeling a bit under the weather, but I was not prepared for their reaction. After I picked them up from school the next day, they went into Take Care of Dad Mode. After I fell back onto the couch, they got me a blanket, turned off all the lights, and got me another glass of water. And while I did not even attempt to eat any of the food we picked up on the way home, the girls certainly offered me a few fries. They even turned the sound off on their iPads/tablets so that I could sleep. They did their best to make sure I was comfortable and that they were not making me feel any worse than I already did.
This Friday was the last big event where the girls really stepped up when I needed it. While I was on leave this week completing one of the hardest parts of my course (see above), I still felt compelled to support my unit by participating in the Norwegian Foot March event they organized. We started at midnight, and 18.6 miles and four and a half hours later, I was mentally and physically beat. When I got home to relieve the sitter, Elaina woke up and joined me as I passed out on the couch. As I hobbled through the morning routine, she referred to me as a “Broken Barbie,” but was quick to tell me that she would get her own breakfast or shoes so I did not hurt myself any more. The girls both took care of me that evening and the following day, again keeping the jumping on Dad and requests to painfully move about the house to a minimum. Elaina and Gabriella continue to grow up and keep getting more and more amazing as they do so. Let us just hope they continue to take care of me through old age and not just when I am doing physically and mentally exhausting things for the military.
Thanks for checking in on us.