We are not morning people. By we, I mostly mean me. But as a general rule, our family does not function well before, let's say, 10am. So Brandon has this great job. Really, he does. And he loves Paige immensely. (And yes, my thoughts will eventually connect. I just need a minute to connect them.) The one fatal flaw of this job is that he works M-F from 1 or 2 until 9pm. It means that he leaves for work just before Paige gets home from school. He misses out on dinner with his family. And he doesn't get to be around for homework, baths, chores, or the cherished bedtime ritual. And part of the irony of all of this is that he works with teenage girls who are coping with neglect, abuse, and all sorts of "dad" issues. He sees first-hand how vital his role is as a father. And I think he gets really down on himself about not seeing Paige very much throughout the week.
So, here is where my thoughts connect. I hope. My love and admiration for Brandon grew a million times over this week. I never think that is possible since I already love and admire him times infinity. But it did. That sleep-deprived, over-stressed, maxed-out guy set his alarm clock for 7am every morning this week. He went in and woke up Paige and declared that 7-7:30 was their special Dad/Paige time. They went downstairs and made pancakes, waffles, hot chocolate, cereal... whatever they were in the mood for that day and spent a good half hour talking about school and life and everything else. Eventually Hailey and Easton would wake up and join the party. But Brandon got Paiger ready and loaded up the stroller and walked Miss Paige (and her siblings) over to the school every day this past week so that I could rest. I don't know. Maybe it seems like such a small little thing. Pancakes with dad while the rest of the house sleeps. But for this sleep-deprived, over-stressed, maxed-out mom I think it is a pretty great definition of love.