Growing up with my father as a physician in a small town picnics in the park, morning swims in the pool, and weekend getaways were virtually unheard of. Because we lived in a small community my father not only ran a practice but he was required to also take call at the local hospital, round at the nursing home, and there were always charts to dictate - lots and lots of charts.
I do not hold this against my father. He spent time with us and we enjoyed it when he did. While his job was his passion it was also quite demanding.
When I married my husband he was finishing his degree in education. I knew he would go on to become a teacher but I really had no idea what this would mean. In the first few years he had it rough and I didn't make it any easier because I began to realize that his teacher's salary wasn't going to be quite like what I was used to. Don't get me wrong, I didn't have everything I wanted growing up, but we truly wanted for nothing and I didn't realize in my young years just how blessed I really was.
After some rough years and Doug deciding to leave the teaching profession for a year we both learned a valuable lesson - it is more important that one does what he loves than something that makes him misserable and makes him a lot of money. I believe this is true with both sexes, but more so with men.
As we picniced last Friday in the park - just the four of us - I realized that while our rewards aren't monetary, we are overwhelming blessed with the reward of time. My kids get to have something I barely knew and that is large, quantities of time with their father - quality time too.
To say that I am already mourning the end of our summer is an understatement. To say that I now appreciate and value the profession my husband has chosen is a true statement. I value both my father and my husband for choosing their professions based on passion and calling. Both had cost and both had rewards. I am thankful that our little family gets to relish in one of the greatest rewards - Doug's time.