When Max was about six months old, he and I walked downtown and popped into Ian's store for a little visit. Ian was with a customer, so Max and I found a corner to occupy ourselves in while we waited. As the customer was getting ready to leave, Ian introduced Max and I to her, we all exchanged pleasantries, and then the customer, on her way out the door, asked Ian when he would be at work in the next few days, in case she had a question or whatever. He told her his hours, and she raised her eyebrows and turned to me.
"Wow!" she said. "You never see him! You must feel like a single parent!"
"No," I said, genuinely baffled. "If I were a single parent, I would be working all those hours, and somehow trying to do everything I do now."
Ian does work long hours. He works weekends and holidays. He does this for us, so that the kids can be home when they need to be home and so that I can be home with them. In and of itself, this is remarkable, and the fact that Ian does not treat it as if it is remarkable only makes it more so. But the truth of the matter is, I was surprised by that customer's comment, because in addition to working long hours, Ian uses the time he does have at home with us to be completely present and available and interactive with his children, to a degree that surpasses remarkable and ventures into the realm of wonderous. We are lucky.