My favorite part of the day

As it’s nearly Father’s Day, I decided to write a post about parenting.  I’d like to do these more frequently.

My favorite part of the day:

Was once tucking the kids in, but a few weeks ago I moved to the nightshift at work. I’ve had the same job for almost 13 years, and a great deal of my time has been spent on the night shift (3p.m.-midnight) or Mid shift (11:30pm-7ish am).  It’s challenging to stay tethered to my family in times like this: My oldest daughter is in the 3rd grade, which means unless I really make the effort to, I will be asleep when she leaves in the morning and gone when she comes home. I will only see her on the weekends.  That is, until today, because school is out, and I can spend time with all my babychildren.  Or daughterfolk.  Loinfruit.  Pick whichever is less offensive.  

This is a cause celebre in our household.  I like some aspects of working nights- being able to share household chores more equitably, not using an alarm clock, more time playing with the kids, being able to do yoga in the yard or lay in the hammock while grilling lunch-it’s great.

But something is intimate about end-of-day rituals.  They’re very private- you are in your pajamas, makeup off (if a makeup wearer, I am not), unpacking the day and making ready for the next.  This is something I miss sharing with my wife and kids. In many areas, our lives overlap.  In regards to nighttime thoughts and procedures, our lives are not linear.  I dislike this.

This makes weekends special.  When I’m on days, Saturdays are packed with activity- farmer’s market and library runs, jiu jitsu, household chores, maybe a nap, all to put full airbrakes on it all to careen in to church by 6:30.  But when I’m on nights, the groceries have already been purchased.  The library bag is full of bookish goodness, and we can chill and be leisurely, making our Saturday more akin to Sunday.  

Also special about weekends- I get to tuck the kids in, then I can sit on the couch with Lindsay and watch tv.

As mundane an activity it is (does tv watching even count as an activity?) it’s something we only get to do twice a week, and only for a short while- we’re tired and old.

I like comfort and routine, even if it’s a harsh, self-imposed one. My routine and circadian rhythym has been upended, so I will have to work to be certain I am not tired at the wrong times or forget what a treasure it is to be able to read to/with my kids.

As far as Father’s Day:

You have been warned.  I love you, but leave me alone.



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