Thursday, December 3, 2015

My St. Joseph

After over a week of illness, I think we are starting to get better. Certainly not out of the woods yet, but at least clawing our way to something better. Over Thanksgiving we had two emergicare visits, lots of interrupted sleep, and nearly a whole family of sickies. Coming home was not what I wanted it to be: I realized the very first night that I could not jump right back in to the routine. I had a whole list of things to do the next day: grocery shop, take down the fall things, pull out the Advent wreath, wrap all the books, fold the piles of clean laundry we had left. But faced with this wall of still-persisting sickness, I did for once what everyone beseeches moms to do: rested.

I not only rested - I let my husband take care of me. Which, I'm really rubbish at generally. I can't stand being sick and not being able to care for all the needs of my family. But too often, when in my full strength, I push Tom away - I think maybe sometimes I make him feel like we don't need him. But oh, we do.

Over this last week, while we have been caring for our family in the midst of illness, he has been my rock. He has been up with me at 1am - 3am - 5am - with little people burning with fevers or sobbing with ear pain. Nary a grumble has escaped his lips when I explain the need for yet another child to join us for yet another night in bed, or when the baby wants to play at 4:30 when we only just went to bed at 3. He held our son in the a steamy bathroom while I sat with our restless toddler, and then swapped when I  needed to.

Traveling home, he was our protector: getting us food and drinks, grabbing a blankie that had fallen, given snark to a gate agent whose rude attitude threatened to put me over my emotional edge. And now we're home and he's soldiering on, despite having to dive back into his busiest work season. The first morning home, I got a nap while he took care of the children's many needs. He then came home in the afternoon with roses and needed items for dinner. He got up with the children this morning at 4:30am, and let me sleep for as long as I wanted. When I awoke, everyone was down for a nap after having had breakfast.  He cleaned the kitchen before he left.

This exhaustive laundry list is the smallest glimpse into just this week's offering of love. This is what my husband, Tom, does for me, week in and week out. He is tireless, cheerful, and loving. Just as the Blessed Virgin needed St. Joseph for the long walk to Bethlehem, to bear witness to the miracle of the birth of God's son, and then for the flight to Egypt, God has seen fit to start my Advent by showing me my need for my husband.

Maybe I don't even mind.

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