Sunday, May 23, 2010

Downshifting

Joe starts a new job tomorrow.We found out on Wednesday, just as preschool started. Joe opened the basement door, peeked out at me and gave me a thumbs up. It was good. I think a couple of the parents I do school for had a chance to talk to him--I was too busy with kids to notice. But I was elated. Not only would I not have to sweat trying to find work for summer, but I would have the time I needed to do the curriculum planning for next year. I've been counting on the summertime to create a flexible template for the upcoming school years and this sort of planning takes hours of time to realize a curriculum from the brainstorming stage to fruition.

Do I have to say that it's a lot to consider, Joe being gone? I've had to double-think my plans...my built-in childcare is gone. Is this what guys feel like when their wives go to work? I know most women are the ones who consider the childcare, but it's nice when the guys are enlightened and worry about this stuff too. I can't do tours on weekday afternoons now, because Kiddo will be home and wants my attention. My Monday prep day is now narrowly defined to a few hours of prep time. I know I'm going to have to feel this out, so this week I chose to keep projects easy. Messier, but less prep. They'll be engaged with the experiences (seed collages, print painting, stamping) and I'll be able to begin to navigate the changes ahead with a clear head on my shoulders. I don't believe in borrowing trouble, and when I see that things need to simplify, I go with the flow.

Kiddo, on his part, has probably been eavesdropping on this change. Today we pulled out the pennies that Daddy had stashed in the car, then came inside and dumped out the turquoise blue art pottery the change was in. It looks like a 6th grade art project, but I loved it when I saw it at the Goodwill years ago. Out cascaded pennies, dimes; silver and copper coin raining onto the floor. We picked through it--sorting coins is a fun thing for a 3 year old--and put all the silver coins into a dish to take out to the car. "This way, Daddy will always have money to park," I told him. Kiddo seemed happy to play with the coins, examining them, covering the dish sometimes, and then peering at the coins within.

We've had a lot of change over the last few months. Regular readers will know that Joe has been sans employment since near Christmas. (Scrooged!)Kiddo started sleeping in the little bed around February, stopped nursing around the beginning of March (the milk was long gone, and so was my desire to do it) and he turned 3 in April. We've had this new business, the nursery school, since the beginning of January, and amazingly, instead of turning upside down, we are right-side up. I'm just floored at how good life can be.

So we are downshifting on our Life Ride. We are starting to bust out the schedules again, starting to be less off-the-cuff, and more wise as to using our time. And Joe's job is downtown, so I'm starting to have some nice ideas as to meeting him after work. Taking the bus downtown to spend an afternoon at the Central Library and then meeting Daddy at a fountain for a summer picnic dinner sounds pretty attractive to me. I'm just in the mood for it these days, and knowing our family, I think Joe's new locale will be a nice change for us. I used to live downtown at The Brown (on 14th and Yamhill) and truth be told, I loved it. It's not always kid friendly, and so I don't have any weird dreams of moving to the Pearl, but I do love getting moments down there, and we have many friends who like folks to stop in for a visit.

So this is me trying to keep my head on and keep my cool. Maybe it's going to be different come 8 pm tomorrow night, but I don't think so. We try not to over-predict or overplan, and things generally work out better. I think I like this moment, even if it means a colossal "my husband will be gone for 50 hours a week change", will be fine. I will have even more empathy with some of my Working-In-Home-Mom friends, most especially those ladies whose husbands travel for work. I know so many great moms, and feel so blessed by the universe to have met them. From my moms groups to my sisters to the women I provide care for...all moms have a lot on their plate, and I'm always astonished at how well our children turn out.

We are lucky. We are slated for a huge-ass earthquake and it hasn't happened yet. We live in an area that has been less decimated by the economic times than others. Our weather may be cold and dreary, and may make some people feel like taking an all-day nap (my family calls it "The Gray"...most of us are sensitive to this), but it's not doing anything extreme in our area. We are living under an umbrella and again?!--Joe's job came just as his first round of unemployment was ending. We are blessed. We know it. Don't think we don't.

1 comment:

Amanda Perko said...

Best wishes to you in this new and unknown season. I hope each day holds a little treasure for you all and that adjustments are simple this year.