Besides it being post-vacation-blues week, it’s also back to school.
H started his 7th year of teaching. Each year I hope he’ll hit the easy groove that experienced teachers do, and then some huge opportunity/challenge presents itself. Two years ago it was a masters program. Last year it was being department chair, a masters program and 4 different classes. This year, masters program completed, it’s department chair and multivariable calculus, which happens to be the hardest class they teach.
Which he is reviewing every night, all night, after working a 12 hour day.
Which means that it’s just me and the Carter-man for long stretches of time.
I’ve learned that the shift from summer break, having H home all of the time, helping around the house and generally being there for me, to the first week of school, arguably one of the most stressful times of the year, can suck. I love my alone time, but having him around all day, everyday and then not at all puts a strain on our relationship.
Or, should I say, a strain on how I feel about our relationship.
Because in reality, we’re the same as we were last week (well, not entirely the same since last week was still Alaska). I’m just going about my day assuming it’ll be one way and it’s another, totally different yet OK, way…
Luckily, I’ve noticed this pattern, and I let things slide to compensate. So, dishes won’t get put away quickly or he won’t remember to do something (because he hasn’t had a moment to himself) or I have to take the dog on all 3 walks for the day. It’s not easy, but it’s not awful either.
It’s just life.
Yesterday I was up at 5am to be on a 6hr video conference call. Apsht. Somehow I survived, and the early start time meant an early leave time.
Feeling completely burnt from the meeting, I settled on yoga, made green juice, and took the dog to the park to run around a very dry, very hot baseball field. I straightened up and vacuumed. I ate turkey chili cold from the Tupperware. I perused Instagram, cleaned up DropBox and worked on a small project taking photos of our possessions in case we ever have an insurance issue. I cooked zucchini and heated up left-over pizza. I went out with Carter again, this time on roller-blades.
I wrote this sitting across from H as he went through calc problems and muttered things like “oh shit, I found the area instead of the arc length” which may as well be German to me.
We kept the front door propped open so a breeze came through the apartment while it went from twilight to pitch dark outside in what seemed like an instant.
I couldn’t fall asleep the other night and stayed up past 1am.
Carter mopes around looking for H, patiently waiting for him to finish his work so they can play.
It’s a transient time of summer nights, school days, 5am alarms, evenings solo even though H is home, and hot weather. The last of it seems to throw me off the most. Autumn feels like the natural signal for us all to hunker down, do our work, spend more time indoors. We don’t get that here in Southern California, the season or the natural transition.
I miss it.