This weekend was all about Andrew, and I loved it.
In December of 2008 my husband was about to register to take his journeyman's certificate as an electrician. We had just paid our first program fee to adopt, and completed our homestudy. I was applying for grad school, and we were planning for me to stop working as he took on the job of providing financially and I started school and we both prepared for parenthood.
Of course, it was 2008, and everything was about to fall to pieces financially for more people than just us.
The small company that Andrew worked for went under a few days after Christmas. Their niche market doing electrical work for high end new homes and remodels couldn't withstand the market crash and upheaval. It had been coming for a few months but we were doing our best to be hopeful. Andrew had tried working for other companies and come to the reluctant conclusion that it wasn't electrical work he loved - it was working for this company in particular that made it bearable.
So we made a new plan. I found out about worker retraining, a government program for skilled tradespeople whose jobs evaporated for reasons beyond their control. Andrew looked at all the options and chose Respiratory Therapy - something that neither of us had even heard of before. He took pre-requisites that spring and summer, excelling at subjects where he had failed before. I had never seen my husband so driven in an arena that didn't include music. He was accepted into the program and within one quarter had established himself at the head of his class, and was elected president of the RT club on campus. The next quarter he headed off to clinical training and I held my breath, hoping that he loved this work. Turns out he didn't just love it - he passionately loved it. At the end of the year he was selected for an extremely competitive internship at the region's only level one trauma hospital. For the past year he's been coming home with stories that make Grey's Anatomy's most sensationalist episodes look tame and fallen in love with the work of life saving the way he once loved touring, performing, and writing songs.
This past Saturday he graduated with his degree in Respiratory Therapy, the absolute top of his class.
I don't need to remind readers here that in the past two years while he has been learning a whole new trade and excelling at that learning he has also done the hard work of learning to be a dad. He's changed diapers, walked the floor with a screaming wee one, sang lullabies, managed feedings, learned how to give baths and detangle hair, played games, worked puzzles, given time-outs, and supported me as I have learned about all the same things.
In addition to this he is an excellent cook.
So this weekend was all about the man I love. The man who listens patiently and walks gently in this life he shares with his two opinionated, extroverted women. The man who stole my heart years ago with that unique combination of blazing, brilliant creativity and tender, quiet tranquility. The man who steals it again daily with baby dance parties and random acts of baking.
The man who, on top of all this, now makes his living helping people breathe.