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Oh. The Kids Go Back to Their Regular Schedule

January 3, 2011

It’s almost quiet here. The girlies are at school. Bobby’s waiting on his ride to the center, so there are the noises of him emptying the dishwasher and occasionally subvocalizing as he thinks his thoughts and tells himself his stories. Rick’s over at one of the desktop computers working on his maps of the county (hey, we all have our specialized interests here).

In less than an hour, Bobby will be out the door, and Rick and I will have alone time, as he’s taking this last week of my break off. Most of the week won’t be spent together, alone, looking askance at each other, though, as Tuesdays and Fridays the bright boy is home, and Rick and I both have appointments on Wednesday. So we’ll really only have two days together: today and Thursday. How do I predict we’ll spend this quality time together with no kids? I suspect that he’ll continue to play with his power point files of maps of the county while I tweak my American Literature class, and we’ll enjoy the companionable quiet together. Hey, I could be wrong, and as soon as Bobby walks out the door (he’s busily chatting to me about the ancient olympics and how women should have gotten to compete in more events), Rick and I will be engaging in aerobic activities. Hahahaha, anything’s possible! I think I’d settle for a refill of coffee, though, and a good hunkering in on the 3,000 page textbook I have for American Literature and what works I’ll be torturing  edifying my students with this semester.

Oh how 22 years together changes priorities! We’re not likely to ever have an empty nest here, so we’ve learned to appreciate those moments where it is empty so that we can focus our attention uninterrupted on our various work and hobbies. It’s a good mix, one based on a solid and healthy respect for the ability to work in companionable silence on our own activities, but one that’s been difficult to learn. The first 14 years of our marriage were spent with Rick in the military and the habit of life at home coming to a stop to focus on him when he was home, since he was so often gone. We’re going on nine years now of him being retired, and it’s been hard to adjust that patterning, for me to feel comfortable in continuing with my work, my interests, my activities and Rick finding his own. It’s been hard to learn that we don’t have to suspend everything just because Daddy is home. I think we’re finally getting there, though, and this week is, in its own way, a test of that. Do I suspend the work I need to do to focus my attention on Rick? Or do we continue our separate activities in companionable silence?

I’ll be sure to let you know. 🙂

Happy Monday, people!

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