Some days at work are absolutely fantastic. The time goes by fast, I'm stowing way above what the expected rate is, and before I know it, it's just about time to go home. I love nights like that.
Last night was not like that. Time went by so slowly, and I was exhausted out of my mind. I worked third floor all night and the stairs were brutal. I only had to climb them four times all night, but still. I couldn't concentrate and cackled with my coworkers. You know that ridiculous kind of laugh that happens when you don't intend it to, but do so because you're just that tired? That was me. After the first half, I was debating on going home. I would have gotten a point for it, but it also would have put me out of the running for converting to being an actual Amazon employee instead of the staffing agecy. It was brutal.
I was already exhausted going into work at the start of my shift. When you live with four children who love to shout, slam doors when they go outside to play, and to bang on your door because they want something, you wake up a thousand times during your sleep making it a broken sleep. And working ten hours a night doesn't help.
But I finished my shift in full. I stayed until it was time to go home, fighting through the sleepiness and loopiness of it.... because I've gone to work tired before and made it through the shift. And because those four children are worth it. I moved back to my hometown for them... everytime I visited, it was always met with being told they wanted me to spend the night for fifteen days. That was the original plan, but I barely knew the two year old and she didn't know me. I wanted to change that. I wanted to honor the occasional request to live with them by the eight and six year old. I didn't want to leave where I was living, but I love them more than I didn't want to leave. I had been there through the first three of being born and welcome to the family. They knew who I was. They love me. And I missed them terribly. So I made the decision to come back and spend some time with them before my next out of state living adventure.
I hope one day they can look back and see this gesture of how much they mean to me. But even if they don't, they're still worth it to me. The four year old is about to turn five. I'm twenty nine years and ten days older than her. In other words, I'm thirty years older than her. This is the first time I've been here to celebrate all four of their birthdays as they passed by. They're worth it. They're worth being woken up a thousand times a day because they're kids living they're adventurous lives.
I also have a love/hate relationship with the idea that sometimes they're dependant on me. I love it because I love having a role in their lives. I love that they love me; their aunt. I love that they all call me Juja even though they can say my name correctly.
But I hate that I fail them sometimes, and will fail. Like the two year old one day. I made her toast one day and sat her in her seat on the chair at the table. The table is a bit high and so are the chairs... and she couldn't exactly reach the table without her special seat. She could get in and out of it on her own as long as their is another chair right next to her. But that day I made her toast, there wasn't. I worked all night and was set to head off to bed after she sat to eat. I didn't think about her needing another chair to be able to get down. So I laid down. I was down for about twenty minutes when I started to wonder if she was able to get down. I figured I better go check, and there she was still sitting in her seat watching cartoons. Her sister, the four year old, wasn't big or strong enough to help her down, so she handed her her "banket". There she was in the seat with her blanket watching cartoons at the table.
Yes, I felt terrible. But I'm glad that I thought to make sure. If I hadn't, she would have been in that seat for a good few hours until her mom woke up; she worked the same shift as me. and fell asleep right away while I stayed awake to take the older two to school. Thank goodness the two year old still loved me after that. She doesn't count my failures or hold them against me. She won't throw in my face how I left her helpless. That's because she knows I love her. She knows that she can come to me when she's crying and I'll comfort her. She knows that when she wants to look at puppy pictures on my phone, we will look at them. She knows that I'll laugh at her when she's being funny. And she knows I'll play with her when she wants me to. I can't get away with so much from her older siblings at times, but still they all know it too for them.
Each of those four children know I love them. They have seen me fail them and they still love hanging out with me. It's a perfect picture of how God loves us. He sees our failures and still values us just the same. He delights in spending time with us. He makes everything worth it, because without Him, it's all meaningless.
So I will continue to work when I'm tired. Because at the end of the day, it's all worth it.