There's another thing I can't do alone-- and that's living my life. You know, the one where I work full-time and manage a household and do church things and love a husband and develop friendships and nurture two challenging children.
God knew this. So he sent me some angels to help make it work.
There's my Daddy, whom I called one frustrating Tuesday afternoon, sobbing like a child. I told him I was about to kill Soren and had no idea what business I had being a mother. Poor guy, he made a lot of empathetic noises, but you could tell-- even over the phone--that it was like he was fumbling around in a tuxedo at his first black tie affair, just not sure what to do with his hands. But then to my parenting rant I added, sobbingly, "...and I've been trying to take my dishwasher apart because I'm so sick of washing dishes by hand but the screws are weird and I can't even get it apart to see what's wrong!" (Wailing.)
In about ten minutes my dad was in the doorway with a tool box in hand. He solved my dishwasher problem and read a book about bugs to my boys. A little while later my mom showed up, having come home to a note on the kitchen whiteboard: "Rachel is in crisis. Needs her mama too."
There's Briar. She used to take Fridays off from work, just because she could. But then Abe finished his Master's degree and got a job and suddenly we needed a little extra help with babysitting. Without hesitating, Briar volunteered to watch the kids on her day off. So now Briar "takes a day off" each week from work to take care of our little guys for an often long and trying day. She does this for free. Without complaint.
Briar also always makes sure that we get to go on our Saturday night date. She'll come upstairs in the evening, scoop up a whining kid, and shoo us away. Every week. Without complaint. For free.
And then there's my Mom. And my sister Collette. They, too, provide mounds of free babysitting. For years they've watched our kiddos on varying schedules while Abe and I worked and/or went to school. When Abe's work schedule changed a few months ago, I called them each to let them know that we would only need babysitting one day every other week. Both of them, separately, responded like this: "But that's not enough! I need to see my little boys more often than that! Can I please keep watching them every week?"
I am so grateful that my children are loved and nurtured by so many good people. So thankful that I'm not expected to do this alone.
Thank you, thank you, thank you. All of you.
P.S. Dear Briar, I am sorry for the sappiness and publicity.