To My Husband, the Social Worker

To my social worker husband:

I don't know how you do it.

Every morning you wake up while the rest of our house is still fast asleep. You feed the dog and pour yourself a cup of coffee.

Lord knows you're gonna need it as you prepare for a day that rarely stays on schedule.

Day in and day out, you kiss our daughters goodbye.

They wave at you through the window as you drive away, not knowing whether you'll be home in time for dinner or baths or nighttime books and bedtime prayers... but knowing full well you'll at least try.
To My Husband, the Social Worker
Everyday I watch you load your overflowing work bag into the front seat of your car. And I think to myself -- If that thing is any indication as to the heavy caseload you're carrying, I'd imagine it can sometimes be overwhelming.

After you're gone while I scrape out leftover oatmeal from our breakfast dishes still sitting on the table, I know you're clocking into work and heading to your desk piled high with court cases and files and important documents to sift through about children stuck in hard places and foster homes and group homes and treatment facilities.
To My Husband, the Social Worker
And despite the clutter and work sprawled across your desk, I know you well enough to know you glance up at the photos of our daughters pinned on the wall and think, "I love what I do, but I sure do miss them."

We miss you, too.
To My Husband, the Social Worker
But we also understand you have important work to do.

We know your phone rarely sits without a voicemail blinking because someone's child or someone's family needs you. And they need you now.

We know your staff of social workers may call during dinner or our nightly game of "hide-and-seek."

We know you see people at their worst. You encourage them to change. You testify in emotional court hearings.

We know you rarely have time to scarf down a cold sandwich unless you somehow find a 10-minute break in a day spent reminding kids and fellow social workers they're not forgotten in a system they can sometimes feel lost and overwhelmed in.

We know you're personally invested in the relationships you build with families and that you genuinely care about the people you help.

That's what makes you such a great social worker.

This month -- Social Work Month -- we're recognizing the work you do, 
and the work all social workers do. 

In a vocation that's often times thankless, we applaud you for the sacrifices you make each and everyday, and we recognize the difference you make in the lives of those around you.

Thanks for making us so proud.

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Note: A version of this post was originally published on 3/23/2016.

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