Saturday, January 25, 2014

Unproductive: Reflections on paternity leave

Mommy naps at home earlier today, holding our 11 day old Levi.

This is another share from my other blog, originally posted on Thursday.  I'll try not to make a habit of this, but I just haven't found the time to complete any new updates to the "Garth's Blog" site recently.

My belated family Christmas post is almost ready.  And pictures from baby Levi's birth last week are coming soon!

Our newborn baby Levi turned one week old yesterday [Read: Wednesday]! Yet the week zipped by so quickly that it seems like Levi was born only a few hours ago.

After confirming that my mom was available to care for Kathy at the house today, I felt confident enough to return to work this morning. Let's hope I made the right choice.

Think returning to work after vacation is tough? Try returning after paternity leave.

Kissing Lena and Levi goodbye several hours ago, I tore myself away from domestic bliss in the middle of the night. So many memories from this past week brought an irresistible smile to my face. But I also chuckled while suddenly remembering the list of things I expected to accomplish during my paternity leave. As if.

Now, I don't typically aspire to be Mr. Super Productive. That title belongs to my amazing dad, Doug Hamilton. But I DID have over a week off from work, right? And even the most travel-starved husband/ father would never dream of dragging his wife, daughter, and newborn son onboard a series of international flights during this time.

So just for kicks, here is a to-do list of tasks and fun stuff that I earnestly thought I would get started on (yet never touched) during my paternity leave's "free time":

  • Get some friends together to log a massive amount of climbing, hiking, and trail running miles
  • Carry Lena and newborn Levi on a flat, easy hiking trail that a recovering Mommy can join us on (rescheduled for this weekend!)
  • Design and begin my latest weight training program
  • Reevaluate my entire 2014 student ministry goals and vision
  • Submit another of the nine book reports due for my credentialing process
  • Study for my upcoming sermon on 1 John
  • Draft an agenda for our upcoming Alumni Council meeting at Warner Pacific College's Homecoming
  • Play some Uncharted 3 on the PS3, as 2 year old Lena always pleads for me to do
  • Delete dozens of rarely used apps on my phone, tablet, and laptop... But not before I:
    • Brush up on speaking the ol' espaƱol for our upcoming travels (Duolingo app)
    • Learn to play guitar (Gibson's Learn and Master Guitar app)

Laugh if you will, but I was dead serious about tackling every single one of these. At least I thought I was. In practice, I didn't even do the stuff I'd NORMALLY do in my free moments, i.e., drafting mobile updates (okay, I posted a few here) to this blog and it's mainstream counterpart, "Garth's Blog."

So was this a week of wasted opportunities? It certainly could have been, had I prioritized anything on that list over family time at home instead. Playing, praying, reading together, taking care of Mommy and the munchkins, getting to know my baby boy Levi, enjoying visits from family and friends, and helping Lena understand and deepen her relationship with our newly expanded family have all been more important than any part of that list.

It felt like the best week ever, spent with what now feels like the perfect family. And it was gloriously unproductive.

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