Friday, August 19, 2011

The Dawning of a New Day

This evening marks the end of an era. For six years Ruanita and I have worked opposite shifts. For six years, I have been alone with my children five nights a week. Alone with dinner time. Alone with bedtime. Alone with time outs and tantrums and skinned knees and kissed boo-boos. Alone with doctor appointments and dentist appointments and therapist appointments. Alone with the hell that is second grade homework. For six years, I have gone to bed alone five nights a week. Snuggling a dog or a cat or any of my children willing to fall asleep pressed up against me. I don't like to sleep alone.

For six years, Ruanita has woke up to an empty bed. For six years, I have been gone before my children wake. Ruanita has been alone with breakfast. Alone begging our beloved children to please, for the love of God, get dressed for school. Alone washing laundry and emptying the dishwasher and vacuuming the floors. Alone coming into a dark house at eleven o'clock in the evening, with nothing but the walls and a houseful of snoring people to share the joys and frustrations of her day. Falling asleep late into the night, only to get up early in the morning to do it all over again.

Tonight, a page is being turned. Tonight is Ruanita's last night at work. This evening in the very last Friday night I will spend alone with my three children. The last time I will order nasty Papa John's pizza in a desperate attempt to avoid cooking. The last time I will allow my children to stay up watching movies because, by Friday night, I simply do not possess the fortitude to wrestle with them over bed times.

Come tomorrow, Ruanita will enter the throngs of the happily unemployed. The few. The proud. The brave. It will be an interesting turn of events. Will we argue? Will we quickly tire of one another? Will we resent the other invading our turf? Interfering with our routine? Perhaps.

More likely, however, I think we will relish the simple act of being together as a family. Watching TV. Going for walks. No longer will weekends be reserved for the 7,346,124 chores we are unable to accomplish during the week when we are each de facto single parents. Weekends will be weekends again. Sitting down to eat dinner as a family will become our new norm. Bedtime stories and baths and homework—these will become a tag-team effort for the first time since our twins were born.

To say that I am excited to have Ruanita at home with me may just be the biggest understatement of all time. It's going to be a whole new world. A new adventure. This could get interesting.

Stay tuned.


Jessica said...

YEAH!!!! Very excited for you!

Madgew said...

Can't wait to see how this all plays out. It will be changes all around but I think it will be great for everyone. Tag teaming is such a positive experience and it will be really interesting to see how the kids adjust.

Just Margaret said...

Yay! How wonderful that the two of you can now be on the same schedule. I know that I take that for granted sometimes--enjoy it!

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