The News

on 09 February 2015

Poor Chris.  He carries all of his stress in his stomach.  After 10 years of marriage I've learned this:  the first thing that goes is sleep.  And this from a man who could sleep through a TORNADO, when he stops snoring, I know he's worried.  The second thing that goes is eating.  He goes from eating sort of normal meals to 1 meal a day and then his stomach goes all rancid and he grimaces a lot.  I resort to baking only white bread and trying various kinds of soup to appeal to him.

The physician he interviewed with had told him that notifications would be made in 8 weeks.  So we knew we were looking at right before Baby Girl was expected to arrive.  But we were still really hopeful it would be BEFORE that so that we could start financial aid paperwork, and well, so that Chris could go back to eating and sleeping like normal.

Now, Chris doesn't usually call me from work.  He's been short-staffed for a year, so I know that he's always incredibly busy.  Normal techs that work during the day have 4-5 operating rooms that they are responsible to clean, stock and service in the course of the surgical case.  On second shift, IF they happen to have adequate staff that number goes up to 8-10.  For the past year, Chris has regularly had the responsibility for 12-16 operating rooms.  TWELVE to SIXTEEN.  It's absurd.  So our habitual sharing of information usually takes the form of me emailing him updates as to what's going on at home, and IF he has a spare moment he'll email me back, but that really only happens when he has sufficient staff.

So when he calls me from work it's a big deal.  And we had a pre-arranged deal that he would CALL me if he heard from UNC while he was at work.  So the week of his birthday when my phone range and it was him, I got really excited.  Alas, he was just calling to ask me to double check on something for him.  I told him that I loved him very much but he was not allowed to call me from work again unless he heard from UNC.  I just about had a heart attack.  He chuckled and apologized and went back to work.

Fast forward a week.  I was reading to, cuddling with and tucking in the Babies.  The Girl was already snug in her bed, and the Boy and I were settled into Bed Sweet Bed reading Harry Potter.  (He and I have been wending our way through the entire series at bed time since last October, and we were up to the exciting conclusion of Book 6: The Half Blood Prince.  The Boy was hiding his head under a blanket on my bed because I do all the voices and can be quite scary sometimes.)  When my phone rang.  Now, generally speaking, I don't answer my phone when I'm doing school with my Boy, or bedtime with either child.  But it was CHRIS and he was calling from WORK.  So I picked up on the second ring.

All he said was "Check your email."  And I said, "Um, not so much, TELL ME NOW."  So he said, "I got a voicemail and an email from Dr. R________.  I'm in.  They let me in!"  And I took a deep breath and told him how very, very proud I was of him.  Hearty Congratulations!  I told the Boy who came out from under the blanket and cheered and yelled, "Good job, Daddy!"  I told him how much I loved him and then he went back to work and I hung up the phone and tried not to cry.

I know, it's horribly selfish, isn't it?  All Chris has every wanted to do is practice medicine in some capacity.  And I am super happy for him.  It's been TEN years in the making.  He's tried to do other things, tried to work in other fields and explore other options, but there was this constant pulling at his gut that wouldn't be satisfied or put off until he had accomplished this particular goal.  I've seen him work and be miserable and unsatisfied and unhappy for years now, and more than anything, I just want him to be happy.

But...he's my best friend.  I don't mean that in the trite way that a lot of couples say it.  I mean he really is my best friend.  Because he works evenings, I don't get to go out at night with the girls and do fun things.  So I don't get to cultivate friendships like I did before we had kids.  I'm not complaining, I have my sisters and my Mom and a few girls at church, so I'm ok.  But Chris really is my very best friend.  I tell him everything and always feel better when he's near.  So the prospect of him entering into this incredibly arduous course of study and THEN disappearing into a residency holds very little appeal to me.  My parents raised me to be tough and hard working, so I'm not at all worried about carrying the bulk of the domestic life of our family, but I really am going to miss him horribly.

But it's still 5 months away.  So I'm trying to enjoy him addition to putting him to work.  The real JOY from this news came the next morning, when we both woke up and lay in Bed Sweet Bed and talked about how we don't have to worry about a lease this spring, we don't have to pack and move for at least 4 years, we can really settle in where we are and enjoy our house now.  So Chris is painting the Boy's room, and we still have to fix the ceiling in the Girl's room, and set up some more bookshelves so that we can unpack the last of the boxes.  Then, I might go so far as to hang up curtains.