Saturday, April 25, 2009

The Husband Thing

On March 2, we found out our life would change. The newspaper where my husband works was laying off a fifth of its newsroom work force. The next morning, we learned he would keep a job, just not his job. He was moved to copy editor and instead of working from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., his hours would be 3:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. We were relieved he had a job, but the new schedule frightened me. He wouldn't see the kids, who get out of school at 3, but on days that I didn't teach, he would be there -- ALL DAY.
So, in April, the new schedule began. I teach all day Mondays and Wednesdays. On that first Tuesday, Tucker was home from school sick, so we weren't alone, and that seems to happen frequently. With three kids, one of them is home for a little while. But on the days when all the kids are at school, surprisingly, I am enjoying my days home with my husband.
I was worried about his judgement, that he might stand over my shoulder and suggest more efficient ways for me to get my work done, to clean the house, to plan dinner. I was wrong. We spend our days together and apart, doing things we enjoy.
I'll forget all about grading and planning for my online classes and instead we'll run off to the garden store or the book store. Or Earl and I will walk to our little town center to have ice cream at Jeni's or lunch at Panera's. He'll be puttering around outside in the yard while I fix a salad and open a bottle of wine for lunch. Sometimes we'll take books onto the front porch and sit on the swing, enjoying the view of the downtown skyline before the spring leaves block it.
This new schedule makes us feel kidless through much of the week. And when we're home alone, we take pleasure in each other's company, like an old retired couple.
We're really grateful he still has a job, but we're also taking advantage of these stolen hours during the day -- just the two of us.


Sheila said...

you do sound like a retired couple. So I guess you're getting a preview of what life will be like and it's not too bad. For the decade or so that Dan worked from home that's how our lives were but with many kids around all the time. :) So I guess it wasn't quite the same, it was much nosier. I'm glad you're enjoying your time together.

Suburban Kamikaze said...

Sheesh. What a boneheaded move. While I'm sure he makes a fine copyeditor, he is undoubtedly one of the best and most experienced assignment editors the paper has... Is there any news organization out there smart enough to collect all this sidelined talent and do something great with it? I wonder.

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