Sometimes I just feel like writing but I don't know where it's going to go. This is one of those times. I am going solo as a parent this week as T is in Spokane doing a week of night shift work. It's his first time moonlighting, and it's strange how even though I do miss him, I feel much better about his being away this time than I do for a conference or... a deployment, say, because when he gets back he'll be bringing home a big slab of bacon with him. I think of the reason he is gone, and I am just grateful that we have this opportunity for our family. Doctors in the military don't get paid as much as MDs on the outside you know, and braces x3 + music lessons x4 (+ a recent last minute trip to Utah) really add up. Looks like I made up my own math equation there. 3x+4x+700.00= locum tenens for T.
He is working in a 24 hr stroke clinic and he tells me working nights reminds him of residency and brings back all sorts of bad memories of having to make decisions without any sleep. Hopefully he will be doing better and have his internal clock turned around asap. Speaking of sleep, that's one thing I don't do well when T is gone. This reminds me of 2008 when I had 6 months of bad sleeping due to his deployment (and my neurotic behavior). I can't seem to find the right time to turn in. Even the dog can feel something is off and she barks in the middle of the night at strange stuff like the wind blowing or the hamster running in his wheel at night.
Something funny about this moonlighting job that I just have to mention is this: at dinner tonight we were talking about the job that T is doing and how his second night went much better than the first and Little Boy spoke up and asked what kind of job his Dad was doing. When I told him, his response had us all laughing because he actually thought that T was in Washington state flipping burgers in a hamburger joint. That boy is so funny. He has a touch of the ADD, and sometimes he tunes out. When he comes back to us it is clear he wasn't following 100%. This was one of those times for sure. Yeah- we thought we'd send our Dad clear across the US to work for Five Guys even though they just built one down the street from us. He has some serious burger flipping skills that he had to school them on.
Luckily Little Boy didn't get his feathers ruffled. There was a good spirit here to tonight. I'm not sure why. Especially surprising because my Middle son and I were having a tough time just minutes before dinner that ended up with him in his room and grounded from TV for a week. I was so worried about him all though dinner (he was too mad to eat with us).
When T is here, he is usually the more emotionally stable one when dealing with the kids. I lose it more, and the week leading up to T's departure was one of our worst ones in history- so I was worried. I often tell my husband that if the tables were turned and he was the one staying at home, he might not be as patient either. However, this week has opened my eyes to something new about myself. When I am the only one at home for a week, I have to own the role of parent better. And since there is no one else to lean on, I straighten up and take it on like a more experienced parent, who isn't going to let the teens get the best of me. I either do that or you have a miserable pity party. And I have had enough of those I think. So it has been a good parenting week. I've caught myself many times re-grouping instead of losing it and it's like I am flexing a new muscle and it keeps getting stronger.
After Middle Boy (and I) cooled down a bit, I went in to talk to him, saying a quick prayer in my heart because dealing with this kid is tricky- not gonna lie. He was still upset and not letting me in. I let him know what he had done was wrong but that I still loved him. Then I re-directed him to his grade in Geometry that we have been watching. He let me know that he had a big test tomorrow (likely the reason for his stress and bad behavior- I was beginning to understand him). When it became clear that I couldn't help him with his math (too bad his Dad wasn't here), we both got down on our knees and prayed together for help. He knows the material but stresses during the tests. Then he studied some more. I offered to let him skip seminary in the morning so that he could study in the morning hours. He ultimately decided he would go tomorrow. He is s good kid. Even if he bombs his test tomorrow I hope he will remember what I said to him. "I don't remember anything about this subject, but I know someone who knows everything about this... do you think we should ask Him for help?"
I know I have been asking for His help all week. Thank goodness He has been answering me.