I return to work in about three weeks, and I’m nervous. Not about the job itself, but about closing the chapter on these last eight months with the girls.
Chances are, I’m not going to have another opportunity to be with them, in this way, ever again. They’ll be just fine. I’m not so sure about me. I’m already starting to look back on my time at home with them, thinking that I didn’t do everything I could have done with them. That I took the time off for granted, and that I spent too many days wiling the hours away instead of making every minute count.
I’m scared that once I return to work, we’ll fall back into the same never-have-a-minute-to-spare routine, where our too few hours together as a family are taken up by errands, worries and little time simply enjoying each other.
Chloe won’t necessarily admit it, but I think she liked having me around. We’ve had our share of disagreements, and she has frequently lost her temper with me, and that will, without a doubt, continue. But we’ve spent so many good moments together. Reading and writing. Playing games (although not nearly as much as she would have liked). Watching “Survivor.” Going to the movies.
Sure, we’ll continue to do those things. But I’m fairly certain that I won’t be as relaxed doing them as I’ve been these last few months. I’m by no means saying that I’ve always been relaxed – relaxing, for me, is something that I have to work at. But I’ve definitely improved since leaving my job last May.
Luckily, the job is close to home. So I will see more of my family than I did when I was working in New York. I’m fortunate in that way (and in so many other ways), I know, to have been able to take this time off. It wasn’t easy to do it, but we managed.
Having me around more also benefited my husband. I still don’t iron, and I’m a crappy housecleaner, but we saw more of each other than we had in years, and that’s been really nice.
Life consists of many different episodes. Some last longer than others, and some pass you by in the blink of an eye. Eight months at home with Chloe and Sophie will someday seem like a little bleep on the radar of my life. But what a bleep it’s been…