Proverbs 9:11 “For by me your days will be multiplied, and years will be added to your life.”
Years, eventually yes, but for today we celebrate at least one more of adding to Sara’s. She refused to write today’s blog because she doesn’t like to write about herself. That’s fine, we can happily do it for her. It’s not hard actually because she really does try to be a model of living a Christian life. She is humble, faithful, giving, and she most often puts others before herself. We as a family are very appreciative that God has gifted us with such an amazing wife, mother, sister, cousin, daughter, and friend.
As for the day, well that was a bit less remarkable. The plan was for me to do the hospital shift so that Sara could help the kids pack and then meet me to grab a taxi to pick up a rental car. We were heading to Bucharest so I could play in an Ultimate Frisbee tournament. Sara and the kids would get to sightsee a bit and maybe catch a game or two.
The plan went accordingly to start. I met up with my two colleagues for the morning and we handed out diapers for the weekend need. We then headed to the top floor to look after our charges. I was surprised to see a familiar face, a baby whom I had cared for a few weeks earlier was back. While I loved his giant smile (fitting for his somewhat bulbous head) I was sad that he was back. Such is the case here, bittersweet moments of happiness to see a face you have come to adore but sadness to realize that he or she is back and in need of your care because the parents cannot do it.
My baby today, however, was new to me. She is probably in the 6-8 month range. Not verbal yet and not strong enough to stand. Moreover, she is very needy and sad. I was told about her from Sara who said that the previous day she basically had cried the entire time they were there. Clearly she was missing home. Fortunately she and I hit it off. She at first was very fussy and cried but after a few minutes she snuggled in and after a few more she was sound asleep. I felt a bit of encouragement when one of the nurses reported that she was pleased to see her sleeping and that it probably was because of my being a man. The babies are surrounded by women most of the day as all of the nurses are female and most of the doctors as well. I have really noticed that the kids have a very different reaction to me, not just because of my beard which they find to be very enticing to play with. It is not always a positive reaction but for this little girl it worked and it made for a very pleasant stay in the room.
After completing our time on the 4th floor we shifted to the 3rd but we only had two babies needing attending. I asked my coworkers if they would be okay if I headed off early so we could get started on our trip to Bucharest and they kindly gave me the okay. After catching up with Sara and the kids we finished our packing and headed off for the car. As expected, by the time we got to the rental place, signed paperwork, and got loaded up we were heading off just after two. We had birthday dinner plans for Sara at 6:30 but as the trip began to stretch out with unexpected bathroom breaks, traffic, and some challenging weather, we wisely elected to switch our plans to Saturday. I felt bad for Sara as her celebration would be put off but as is often the case she simply said it was okay and that she would rather celebrate when everyone was feeling happy and rested.
We made it to the hotel, got settled in and opted for what turned out to be a less than stellar dinner at the hotel restaurant. To cap it off, our eldest, who was gung ho to sleep on the couch for the night, suddenly felt it would not be comfortable enough and threw a tantrum. Net result, she got to sleep in mom and dad’s bed, Luci and David shared a room, and dad took the couch. While I wouldn’t say this was the best way to celebrate the birthday of such a wonderful person, in a way it kind of was. It celebrated all the great things about her. We volunteered helping abandoned or underserved children, we got to go on an adventure to a new city, we dealt with the challenges of parenthood, made the best of an unexpected situation, and through it all we smiled at the end of the night.
God never promised things would be easy, always positive, or be exactly as we want them. He promises only that He will provide for us and that in the end we will say hello to Him. And at that end of the long day of life, we will both smile. In the meantime, I am so thankful I have a wonderful partner on the journey.