I do remember praying before I went to bed the night before that God would somehow give me the strength and joy necessary to take of the girls the next day. Everything had been going so well, and then with the news of the shootings I felt all my physical and emotional stamina just caving in.
I woke up not feeling great, but determined to do my best regardless of my feelings. The girls all woke up early, except Hope, and they were pretty much ready by the time I heard my phone ring.
It was a long, weird number and I strongly suspected that Paul was on the other end.
I answered, smiling before I even heard his voice. But the smile after I heard his voice probably made the other smile look like one of Gracie’s scowls.
What he said hit me out of nowhere. After hearing the news about Connecticut, he said he needed to talk to us. He? needed? to talk to us? But you’re in Israel – the coolest place ever!
Why was I surprised? Of course I know how much he loves us. Of course I know how close he is to the girls. He would have had all the same thoughts and feelings that I had.
It was so good to talk to him. It was amazing to watch the girls excitement as they held the phone and talked to their beloved Daddy. It was so familiar to hear his excitement and love as he talked to them.
God could have answered my prayer in many ways. But He chose to give me strength and joy through my very favorite person, Paul. And once again, I was terribly excited for him that he was in Israel; and completely okay with taking care of the girlies alone.
At dinner Gracie asked, “Where’s Daddy?”
“In Israel!” I replied.
“No,” she disagreed, “he’s at school.”
This was the first time that any of the girls had expressed concern over his whereabouts.
When thinking of how to best handle this time of them being away from him, I had thought about watching videos online of Israel or having some sort of countdown where we would eat candy out of a jar for every day he was gone and watch the amount dwindle. In the end, I did none of these things. The girls were handling it famously. They knew where he was and it felt best to just carry on and try to occupy ourselves with fun things.
It was interesting to me that Gracie had been the first to ask about him, sensing that it was weird that he was gone. Everything was fine, but I wondered what this second week would hold.
Thanks for reading my first series: Taking care of four little girls alone (while my husband is on an amazing study trip to Israel). Here are links to the other related posts.