For this “daddy diaries” post, I thought I would share about how I spend my day off.
For some background, I’ve been married for 13 years to Katie and we have three daughters– Nadine (8), Lucie (5) and Maelle (1). We live in the South End of Burlington and moved here two years ago for my job. We love Burlington and hope to see our girls graduate high school here and maybe even go to UVM.
For our family, moving to Burlington has been a breath of fresh air–we feel more settled and at home here than any place we have ever lived. But with a new place has come a new schedule, and while I love my job, the hours are not what you would call “regular”. Each week is different for me, but the one constant I’ve tried relatively successfully to hold onto is a day off on Mondays.
What I’ve found is that my tendency towards mentally and emotionally checking out when I rest has been mercifully mitigated by the pressing need of my kids for undistracted time with their dad. I say “mercifully” because the pull of selfishness that says “I have to answer that email now” or “Maelle won’t notice two minutes of me reading an article on my phone” remains strong. But the days when I am able to leave my phone off and get down on the floor to play with my kids at eye level has probably been more nourishing for me than it is for them.
Just for fun, I’ll share my typical Monday.
Lucie is in preschool from 8 to noon, and Nadine is a third grader so she gets off the bus at 3. So usually in the mornings Katie and I have a “day date” at one of our favorite breakfast spots, either Magnolia’s or The Spot in the South End. We bring Maelle with us and she is usually great– I think she likes the spotlight being only on her for a little while. When we go to The Spot, Maelle loves looking at the tropical fish in their big tank. Especially in the winter months, The Spot is an oasis with their California decor. Love it.
Then we go pick up Lucie from her preschool and come home. Lucie loves cars (she collects the ones from the movie CARS) so we usually play with the garage that Katie made her out of a cardboard box. As the middle child, Lucie has had a hard time with the attention often directed toward Nadine as the oldest and Maelle as the baby. Maelle will pick up one of the cars and chuck it across the room, or mess up Lucie’s perfectly lined up parking lot. Lucie is learning how to cope with her little sister’s rearranging skills.
Then Nadine gets home and it’s all three girls running around the house. If it’s warm enough, we all go outside and our driveway is suddenly full of vehicles–bikes, scooters, Maelle’s scooting car, etc. Or we get out the ball and play soccer–we all take turns being goalie.
By dinner time, I’m pretty wiped out and on the best days I reflect on all these small activities and how each one of them matters deeply, both to my girls and slowly, painfully, but truly, to me.
[typography font=”Delius Swash Caps” size=”24″ size_format=”px”]Written by Joseph[/typography]
Joseph and his family moved to Burlington two years ago. He and his wife Katie have three daughters–Nadine (8), Lucie (5) and Maelle (1). Joseph is the pastor at Redeemer Burlington and runs the New City Gallerie on Church St. He has a love of indie films, literature, and playing and enjoying great music.