This is Rosie.
I saw a lot of that mustard-coloured floral shirt today.
In the morning, around 6, after getting her changed alongside our other three kiddos.
During the next part of the morning, while we played with our baby chicks, tidied the house, and danced to Kanye West streams on YouTube.
During the afternoon, when she woke up from her nap while I was still working, and I invited her into my home office to play with post-its and pianos.
During the evening, while she cried as Kendra and I made dinner together, trying to keep her entertained as we sliced veggies, cooked rice noodles for the pad thai we’d be serving my in-laws.
In between the slats of the bars of her crib trying to comfort her in the dark as she cried after bedtime.
And now here, in this photograph Kendra snapped during a magic-hour stroll up our neighbour’s driveway.
I see a lot of Rosie on Tuesdays like today especially.
On Tuesdays I shift my working hours around. I have a “no meetings” block on my calendar each Tuesday morning, and during this time, Kendra takes a fitness class at the local Y.
It means that on Tuesdays like today, I stay up a little later to make up for lost time during the workday. It’s why right now, it’s actually not Tuesday anymore, but early Wednesday.
I’ve finished my work for the day. Ambient noise drones in my headphones, and my body shivers a bit — the house temperature has dropped for the evening, and the signals are all saying I should be in bed, but I’m excited to make space for this creating daily thing.
I’m hoping that choices like this, of unforgettably-present dad-ness and mom-ness in these early years especially, help our kiddos blossom and grow. I hope it’s building into my family a level of foundational strong care and connection that will never leave us.
The kids, they see a lot of their dad. I work from home. I chase them down the driveway saying goodbye to them in the morning on the way to school. I’m co-creating dinner each night, co-dousing them in the bath every bedtime, co-huffing at them for not listening every storytime. It means they see a dad that is engaged, connected, present — in happiness, anger, boredom, sadness and more. I hope it helps us show each other what it looks like to be real together.
The kids, they also see a lot of their mom. Kendra made the choice not to renew her license as a physiotherapist recently, to focus on spending time with our four kiddos. I hope that by empowering and supporting Kendra through my own life and work choices, that she too will be able to flourish and thrive, feeling like she can make the choice she wants to make, rather than being forced into any particular path.
With both of us at home like this, I hope that being here in the early years means we, too, have a shared foundation as we “grow up.” We’ve been back-to-back, side-by-side, this whole time. It’s creating a shared storyline we’re experiencing together.
So I’m working tonight, shivering in the home office, because of a choice to help out my family, whom I love, in ways that are life-giving and holistic and supportive. Catching up by using some time-shifted hours. I’m more of a night owl anyway.
You know who else is a night owl? Rosie. She’ll be up more than once before the morning, and Kendra will be the first-responder each time. When Rosie starts the day around 6 am, I’ll be able to help Kendra get a little extra time to sleep in by getting up with Rosie and the other kids.
And then we’ll start Wednesday.