Friday, August 29, 2008

A Taste of the Good Life

You know when you've experienced the best of the best, it becomes difficult to settle for less? Kind of like eating the store-brand of Pop Tarts. This pretty much summarizes my transition back into the working world. Like a store brand "toaster pastry" you can certainly choke one down if you have to but it would definitely not be your first choice. Especially not when you've been able to eat all you can care to eat of the real thing for the last year.

This is not to say that this past week has been bad. Everyone has gotten where they need to be on time, most have adjusted to being back to school and work without complaint and we are actually eating better because meals are being planned in advance instead of waiting until late afternoon to decide "what's for dinner?" The main reason for the physical success of our transition has been that everyone has stepped up.

Alex is completely independent and needs no prodding or even a wake up call to get to class on time or complete his homework. He handles his own money and the purchasing of school supplies and books without a reminder. He is motivated and disciplined to make his education priority 1.

Zack has taken on the important role of chauffeur. He gets Caroline to and from school each day and picks Maria up from extended day at her school so she doesn't have to stay more than an hour or so. He has even begun taking our neighbor to school two mornings a week. This has been a huge help.

Caroline has stepped in to take care of Maria when neither Mom or Dad are home in the late afternoon. She'll get Maria in and out of the tub (I don't even want to know why she is so dirty every day after school) and then they'll usually settle in for a little bit of the Disney channel while Caroline gets her homework started.

And then there's our family All-Star...Don. He has stepped up in a way that most men never would. He has taken on...drum roll shopping and Sam's club. I know you are jealous. And he's done this in pure Don fashion. With organization and a spread sheet. Yup. Our grocery list is now organized by aisle to make shopping as quick and efficient as possible. I just have to plan the meals and make the list. Then *poof*! I come home to a kitchen full of groceries.

Don has also Don the majority of the dishes when he's home and even "took one for the team" by allowing our smelly dog into his pristine car for a ride to the vet. Y'all, if you only knew how much Don deplores the smell of dog and the trail of dog hair.

Don is truly a servant-leader in action. If it weren't for him I think you'd find me rolled up into the fetal position, rocking back and forth, back and forth. Instead I even have a few minutes to blog. I am a blessed woman.

So you may be asking yourself "what's all the whining about in that first paragraph?" Because everyone's doing MY job. Truth be told (even though I may have played the martyr at times) I found great satisfaction in meeting every one of my families' needs. Now they're doing just fine or even better without my help. Ok, maybe it is a pride issue.

I also enjoyed being with my girls 24/7 and being in complete control of our schedule. We could do what we wanted and come and go as we pleased. We played...a lot. Now it's work/school, dinner/dishes, homework/bedtime. Every. Single. Day. The ironic thing is that my girls are really happy and routine is good. It just seems I've had to say goodbye to one of the best years of my mommy career. And goodbyes are difficult.

This is not to say that our new "normal" is so bad or that it wasn't time to rejoin the real world. Maybe it's good that everyone share the load for a change. Maybe we'll really appreciate the hours that we share together every day.

Simply stated: Maybe we're all growing up.


Benjamin said...

But has Alex learned to work the washer correctly? =P

tony said...

Love your blog. I put it in my favorites. You inspired me to try one.