Wherein Beloved goes back to work and deserts me with a plethora of boys

by DaniGirl on August 18, 2008 · 6 comments

in Life, the Universe and Everything

Beloved is a teacher at a CEGEP, and enjoys each summer off from mid-May through mid-August. When I was pregnant, and in the early days after Lucas was born, I’d joke about Beloved and I both being home all summer. “If we survive three months with all five of us trapped in the house, we’ll survive anything!” I’d say, with an I’m-not-really-kidding kind of undertone in my voice. I mean, I love him dearly, but when you’re used to spending 40 hours of every week away from someone, to have them under your feet 24/7 can be a little, um, unsettling. And I’d had just enough time at home by the time his semester ended to develop my own domestic routines and peccadilloes.

Today marks the first day that he’s back at work, and I’m rather bereft without him. (In which “bereft” is defined as “What do you mean you’re leaving me alone all day with ALL these children? Oh no you i’nt!”) Aside from having an extra pair of hands around to hold the baby or keep the other two from bickering each other to death, I’m almost surprised to find I simply miss the pleasure of his company. Didn’t see that one coming!

Beloved is back at work today, and Tristan starts Grade One in two weeks. Within the first two weeks of September, Simon will be integrated into his Junior Kindergarten class, and summer will be officially over. While part of me looks forward to a quieter day and a more regimented routine, I’m mostly sad that our family summer vacation is pretty much over. We’re quite certain that Lucas is the last baby, so there will be no more year-long maternity leaves to enjoy; after this, the next time I get the whole summer off will be in sixteen years when I (choke) retire. I’m lucky to have oodles of vacation time to burn and options like leave with income averaging that I might use in future years to take big chunks of time off in the summer, but this is the last time I’ll be off the whole summer long. (I’d whine about what a crappy summer it’s been, with the endlessly incorrect forecast and no stretches longer than two or three days without rain of some sort, but at least being home means you can make hay – or go to the park – when the sun shines.)

I remember the summer of 2004, when I was home after Simon was born. I kept thinking, “I finally have the family I’ve always wanted, I’m off all summer long with my boys…why aren’t I happier?” Massive sleep deprivation will do that to you. Lucky for all of us, Lucas is a much better sleeper, and this has been the summer I dreamed of then. But where did it go? It can’t be over already, we just got started!

Ironically, today is just the kind of summer day I love best, but that has been sorely lacking this year: warm and clear, the air soft and heavy with the promise of a hot, sticky day. There will be other summers, even other great summers, but there will never be a summer quite like this one.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

1 JoJo August 18, 2008 at 9:09 am

Ok, it must be my hormone but I am very very teary for you.

Go outside. It makes everything better.

2 cinnamon gurl August 18, 2008 at 1:19 pm

I’m wondering where the summer went too. I spent most of it wishing we were already in the new house, but now I’m kind of glad we’re getting it at the end of summer. I love starting new things in the fall. Every September since I finished school, I find myself feeling bereft not to have new experiences and possibilities ahead of me.

Sugar D just left yesterday morning for a week of business travel. I’m also surprised that I mostly miss his company; the second pair of hands is certainly nice, but I just genuinely enjoy his presence.

Glad you got the summer you dreamed of…

3 Renee August 19, 2008 at 9:33 am

Aw, Dani, I love this post. It made me really jealous, but I love it!

4 Sharon August 20, 2008 at 10:55 am

aWWW YES THE RETURN OF CEGEP! We had one happy young lady in the house this morning, she could not wait to go back, although she was really upset that they put her in Linda S’s art history class and not Beloved. I mean Irrate! LOL! You Hubby has a reputation of being a Inpirational AH Teacher.

Good luck with the boys. I know how it can be with just ONE and you have 3. I kurumba!

5 Annika August 20, 2008 at 11:36 am

This post gave me a lump in my throat. I’m also in the midst of my final mat leave summer…

6 Jerri Ann August 20, 2008 at 10:57 pm

Listen, my husband broke his leg in…..2006. Prior to that time, I had been home with our two boys, born in 2003 and 2004. I thought I had it all under control. Heck, I did have it under control. I rarely ever asked for help and it just all seemed to be natural and flow.

Then, he broke his leg the first week of June in 2006. He was home all summer, first with the cast on his leg and then with a knee surgery that had to heal. When he went back to work, every piece of sanity that I ever owned (and trust me it wasn’t much) disappeared into the night air.

I went from being perfectly fine the 12 hours a day that he was gone to calling him before lunch every day begging him to come home and help. Finally I put the oldest one in preschool for a couple of days a week. Otherwise, we would have been a family of one – my husband would have been the only one to survive my nervous breakdown.

I can’t imagine having to make that change every summer…I’d shoot myself in the foot..or at least shoot my husband in the foot so he would be home more.

Kudos for you for having it all under control.

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