Remember that old Barry Manilow song, Looks Like We Made It? Well, that's how I'm feeling at the end of these last two weeks. Teachers were back to work on August 20th, and students showed up this past Monday. As stressed out as I've been over the prospect of leaving home and children and dogs behind and going back to work full-time, I survived. I made it! We made it.
You know all those little projects around the house that nag and nag and beg to be done? Well, I haven't thought about those at all this week. At the end of my 10-12 hour days, I'm just so happy to be home. I don't really care that this slipcover desperately needs to be dry cleaned.
And this little girl here? She's a tad sad not to have me around. How do I know this?
Because Iris makes me feel like a rock star when I arrive home. I've never seen such tail wagging.
When we first moved into this house three years ago, I killed myself painting and picking out fabrics and arranging and rearranging. And I'm so glad I poured my heart and soul into my home back then because I sure as heck don't have time for that now. Do I miss decorating? Yes.
But the house is mostly (I said mostly) the way I want it. For now.
Maddie may not be quite as enthusiastic in the tail wagging department, but I know she misses me, too.
To make things easier, I hired a cleaning service. I have never been big on this. I don't mind cleaning all that much, and I've never really trusted anyone else, mainly because I know they won't be as picky as I am.
I'm totally over that now. I haven't scrubbed a toilet in a month.
Guess what else? I haven't missed scrubbing a toilet.
In the evenings I don't feel like gardening, and I've mostly given up on weeds now. I just look at what we've planted and enjoy it.
Nothing is perfect. But I feel lucky to have been asked to take this job. At 48 I worry these offers won't last much longer. Getting my first paycheck was nice, too. I've had my eye on some powder room wallpaper for a while now. My husband no longer has to purchase health insurance because I have great benefits at my new job, a major savings for our family.
When I have those moments of sadness, and they do come, I try to remember that being home with my children and my dogs and my house and my garden was a season of my life, just the way this new position at work is a season.
And I am so lucky to have my pretty home and my family and my new job. I was so lucky to be able to be home for those years when my girls were little. So many families don't get that.
I know there will be tough days ahead. I'm on a major learning curve. Getting up at the hideous hour of 4:30 AM will be even more hideous come January. There are field trips I will miss, activities my children will have to opt out of because of our crazy new schedule. This is a sacrifice for all of us.
Still, there is satisfaction in what I'm doing. I love my pretty, clean classroom and the wide, well-lit hallways. I love teaching young writers and the good feelings that come with that. Writing this blog post makes me think of another song—The Times They Are A-Changin'.