My husband has been working long hours all week. He gets home around midnight just when my head hits the pillow after shushing and nursing the baby into a deep sleep. He plants a soft kiss on my cheek and then we say a quick goodnight, and that’s about it.
Our mornings have been more rushed than usual because Madeline has had day camp at our church all week. (As an aside: I’ve had my first experience with carpools, and I’ve come to the quick conclusion that I don’t like them. Not one bit. Neither does M.E., who starts wailing each time the car stops. Poor love.)
This morning we were as harried as ever. Dave’s car was parked behind the van, so he came running down to move it. We hadn’t really talked all week and as I put the girls into their carseats I found myself ranting about the uncertain future of the healthcare industry.
“What are you going to do?” I asked my husband as if our fate had already been sealed. “It’ll be like all your patients are on Medicare. There’ll be price controls and government bureaucrats telling you how to practice medicine. We’ll all be getting substandard care and you’ll be working harder and longer than you are now.” (C’mon, Kate, tell us what you really think about government-controlled health care. Well, since you asked, here’s an excellent post that mirrors some of my concerns beside my own family’s future.)
Yada, yada, yada.
My tirade continued as he climbed into his car.
“We’ll be fine,” he said with no hint of exasperation. (He puts up with my own whining better than I sometimes endure my children’s and I’ve got a few decades on them.)
“I hope so,” I said, sounding not at all convinced.
“I love you,” he told me.
“I love you, too.”
But as soon as the words left my mouth, I realized my actions showed quite the opposite.
Here was my hardworking husband – who chose his profession when he was just a boy and has been training for eight years (and still has two more to go), who truly wants to help people, who loves science, technology, and knowledge, who is a total team player and puts in extra hours to benefit his colleagues and patients, who once told my mom after he only scored in the 90th-plus percentile on a board exam that if the gaps in his knowledge hurt just one patient, he’d feel responsible – heading off to work after having worked a 15-hour day yesterday and he was forced to listen to his wife – the one person who should support him and trust him no matter what – doubt his chosen field and in a sense, doubt him and his ability to provide for us.
What a way to kick off Father’s Day weekend, especially since I can’t even make it up to him since he’ll be working all day Sunday, too.
To which I say: Shame on me.
And here’s the real kicker: Just last night I had a mother’s book study with fellow moms (the ever-thoughtful nana came to babysit the older girls) where we discussed the importance of building up our husbands and nurturing our marriages. I’d even shared how I used to light a candle and say a special prayer for Dave when he was still in medical school and was facing an exam. I admitted I’d gotten out of practice since my second child was born, but that I resolved to start doing it again.
Well, as hokey as it may sound, a candle is burning right now in honor of the man I love. Along with saying a prayer for my husband, I’ve resolved to be a light to him that believes in him instead of snuffing him out like I did this morning. And when worries consume me instead of emotionally dumping on him or resorting to my worry wort ways, I’ll light another candle to remind my forgetful self that Christ is our real light, a lamp of constant love, and our hope in an otherwise dark, dark, uncertain world.
“You are my lamp, O LORD! O my God, you brighten the darkness about me.”
-2 Samuel 22:29
Happy Father’s Day!