The end of this week feels so surreal and I know that trying to find the words to express my emotions will not do it justice.
I didn’t intend to deviate from my training schedule this week. Life, as it so often does, added welcomed extras that it made it tough to stick to the schedule I had laid out a few weeks ago. But deviating from my running plan is really not what this is about.
It’s about deviating from my family’s life plan, I guess. Not that my husband and I ever really laid one out. I think we just assumed we’d stay the course we were both on: Work, parent, work some more, then squeeze in a vacation or short getaway now and then. Weekends were precious. Weekdays were hectic, rushed and always seemed to fly by much too quickly — and yet, more often than not, they dragged.
Do you know this feeling?
My two girls’ have been in a childcare facility since they were three months old. With one, it was manageable. With two, well, what can I say? Times have been tight.
My husband and I have refused to put them in a place less expensive because we were burned by that early on with my oldest daughter. As an infant, she was in a facility that was sub-par, to say the least, and it was awful. So, we’ve paid what accounts for a second mortgage to make sure our girls were in a primo education center — until now.
This week, we deviated from our life plan. My husband’s last day of work — for now, at least — was Friday. He’s going to take some time off, focusing on the women in his life. He’s going to be a stay-at-home dad, getting our oldest on and off the big yellow bus each day. He’s taking our 3-year-old to part-time preschool three days a week. He’s going to meet me at the door each day with a cocktail and my smoking jacket… Wait. No…
Sorry. Wrong vision.
It’s exciting, this change. I feel lucky that’s it’s happening. And, my sweet husband has told me more than once recently, that he feels lucky, too. He feels like he’s been given a gift. I think we both do.
We’ve had the conversation about doing this dozens of times, but we’ve just been too scared to really do it. Last month, something changed. I’m not sure what and I’m not sure why, but we were ready. It was raining. The girls were asleep. We were sitting the couch talking finances and routines, and somewhere along the course of that conversation, him leaving his job was just the right thing to do: He’ll work through August, but the start of school would bring a new routine to us all.
Our girls don’t quite know what to think. The world as they know it is changing drastically — and for the better.
Really, all of our routines will change. Our mornings will tick at a much slower pace. I suspect they might even be enjoyable. They were OK before, but if I’m being honest, they were hectic and rushed. I spent my time primping for work, working out tangles from both my daughters’ naturally curly heads of hair, making lunches, trying not to let sticky and stained fingers touch my conservative work clothes, and I used my “firm” voice too often to get children out the door within five minutes of my anticipated leave time.
For my husband, mornings were equally as rushed. He took three minute showers, corralled both girls out of bed and into their school clothes, then swirled downstairs to brew coffee, make a hot breakfast for all of us, put away dishes from dinner the night before, and help get us and about a bazillion bags (purses, backpacks, lunch bags, and laptop cases) out the door and stuffed into my car within at least 10 minutes of my anticipated leave time.
There was not a lot of time for small talk.
I’m looking forward to small talk. Drinking an entire cup of (hot) coffee. Smiling just a little more with my girls each morning. Kissing my husband goodbye — and, heck, hello every afternoon. (He was always too dirty before.)
It’s a good change. It just happens to be so unknown — to each of us — that we really don’t know what’s in store or what to imagine.
I think it’s going to be a good ride.
Running log — and explanation for deviating from that plan, is below.