Working on the Derby cars.
This morning I overheard Cooper, as he was cuddling with an under-the-weather Lincoln, say: "Lincoln! On Friday something is going to be out by the driveway yelling, 'Lincoln! Lincoln!'."
And I laughed.
Brent is leaving town on Thursday, to attend a prep course for his Oral Surgery Part 2 Board Exam.
Brent is the one who always reminds the boys that it's their night to bring in the trash can by saying, "Do you hear that sound? I hear something calling your name! Do you hear it? It's yelling, 'Cooper! Cooper! Bring me in!'."
While Brent has worked harder this past year than I've ever seen anyone work in my adult life, he has still had a presence with our kids. For that, I am grateful.
Soon after our move to Texas, I was in the car with Cooper (on a Mommy and Cooper date). I remember asking about his feelings about his Daddy, and Cooper commenting that he didn't feel super comfortable with Brent; that he didn't really KNOW his Dad very well.
Going into a surgical residency, I knew the kids would miss out on Daddy-time. Coming out of it, I wasn't surprised to learn of Cooper's feelings. Coop wasn't even 2 years old when Brent started his FIRST residency program. The following year was a deployment to Afghanistan. Cooper had just 10 months with his Dad between the deployment and SECOND residency program.
Today, their relationship is stronger. Even with his 'regular' job, his moonlighting job, his church responsibilities, studying for part one of boards and then part two of boards, Brent has worked and sacrificed to spend time with our children. He has played games with them. He's taught them to work. He's helped (or more like, they kinda'-sorta' helped him?) to build Space Derby rockets and Pinewood Derby cars. He's taught them gospel truths from the scriptures. He's taught them to pray.
The resiliency of Cooper, Lincoln and Mercedes in the midst of trials and drastic change has impressed and humbled me.
The sheer determination of Brent as he has clawed his way forward, an inch at a time, on the overgrown, steep, and exhausting path he's chosen for himself leaves me in awe. Every day.
I get to be a part of this family. How incredible is that?