Like most parents, I have a lot of jobs. Some jobs are formal assignments, and some are things that just happened along the way. For example, I do the laundry, excluding sheets and towels. I also schedule activities for Connor and Helen, make sure Connor's backpack gets packed daily, and check on homework. Some days, my job is to walk Connor to school and some days, I walk him home. Some days, I am responsible for dropping Helen off at her school, and each Friday I pick her up from that same school.
I feel responsible for making sure my children are tucked into their beds at night, that their night lights are turned on, and that there's a clear path for them to exit their room should they need to go to the bathroom at some point in the dark. Or, more often, find the need to visit me in the middle of the night.
I right ships that go astray, I stand in wonder at a million little daily happenings, and I hold them tight. I do all of these jobs daily.
I teach them math at the mixing bowl, describe sequences in the patterns of pine cones, and compose silly sentences using "robust vocabulary words", not a one of which has actually seemed that robust.
I play Foosball, bunny store, and baby hospital. And while I do all of these, I think about their futures, and sometimes get struck by the fact that if all goes according to plan, just as they will never know the beginning of my story, I'll never know the endings of theirs.
I really hope I never know the endings of their stories.
The most important thing I do each day, is establish a rhythm that holds my children all day long, so that even when I am not there, they know they are safe. They don't have to worry what will happen next because they already know. Tomorrow's Monday will proceed almost exactly the same way as last week's Monday and if we're lucky, next week's Monday as well.
And when that rhythm gets disrupted, my job is to keep the world looking just as normal as possible. Because last Friday? That was an anomaly. And it's not going to change anything about how I do my job.