Thursday, June 27, 2013

We're Good

I was planning to write an update on how things are going with the swim school and work/summer schedules, but I just checked the date of the post I was updating and realized it's barely 3 weeks old! It feels like 8 at least. Which now seems contrary to what I was going to write in my update which is that things are actually going really well. It appears that maybe time is moving much slower than I thought, but things are so much better than I feared they would be. Which is good, because I feared they would be very bad. Oh it would be worth it I told myself- to support my husband as I know he would support me (and has supported me), to watch JP grow back into himself, and to sacrifice a bit of my sanity for 3 months for a whole year (and future years) of swim school success. But still, June-August was probably going to suck and my goal was survival- of my marriage, motherhood, and job, and then we could get back to regular life in the Fall.

Luckily, the situation has surpassed my rather dire expectations. For one, JP doesn't need to be at the pool quite as many hours as we feared to satisfy his pool director position. He has a great group of high school and college-age lifeguards who appear to be quite responsible and trustworthy, and all reports from JP's surprise visits and from friends of ours who belong to the pool have been excellent. This allows him to be home on Saturday evenings and pretty much all day Sunday and oh my GOODNESS is that huge. Huge. We love having him home, I am so happy when he's home- a Sunday afternoon of house chores mixed with playtime feels like a big treat.

Two, the back-to-back-to-back-to-BACK lessons are pretty much exactly as exhausting as he feared, but not worse. That's good too. It's hot out there, he has multiple hours in a row without a break under the sun teaching sobbing screaming children how to float, but he seems to be okay. Tired at the end of the day, but still his regular self- we talk and joke at dinner, he gives the kids their shower and brushes their teeth, we all pile on Landon's bed for stories, and then he and I sit together on the couch and chat off and on while he answers emails and does Quickbooks magic and I read a book or do whatever it is I do online. I was worried he'd be so drained at the end of the day he wouldn't have much left of himself to give to us- which would be understandable, but sad and hard in the day to day.

And three (are we on three? I'm not even sure what I'm counting anymore), it helps that he simply is who he is. I remember coming home from work on Thursday of that first week- we'd been up so late three nights in a row getting all his admin stuff done for the school, and Landon's new camp was so far away and I was white-knuckle driving to get to Claire's daycare in time to pick her up before it closed, and I was tired and pregnant, and I knew he was tired and so busy, and yet, when I got home with the kids that evening, I saw that the dishwasher was emptied and the laundry had been switched. Two tasks I definitely hadn't mentioned or asked him to do and that he must have done between phone calls and emails and running out the door to lessons just because he saw they needed to be done and didn't want me to come home to have to do it. And I hadn't asked him to because I didn't want to add one more thing to his already overwhelming first week. He'd been near comatose when I'd left for work early that morning- I'd forced him to stand up and shuffle in to the shower just so I could trust he wouldn't fall back asleep when he needed to be taking the kids to school. And so on that Thursday evening, when I found he'd done the things neither of us wanted the other to have to do, I smiled and made dinner with a heart that was happier and less in danger of feeling overly put-upon, which I must admit, I was dangerously close to feeling as I chopped and cooked and Landon ran in to report for the one millionth time that Claire was breaking some rule I didn't care enough to enforce. It's little things like that that I think make a partnership so strong. I know I greeted him with a bigger kiss than usual that night. I know I was more sympathetic to how hot and tired he was- not that I'm not sympathetic generally, but by the time the he gets home, I often simply lack the capacity. But I can find it when I'm reminded of what he gives back to me. (Because, perhaps to my discredit, at 6:45 p.m., pregnant and having worked a full day that began with me at my desk at 7:15 a.m., while making dinner over the heads of two oddly energetic children who should be exhausted after full days of summer camp but are instead emotionally fragile and physically hyper, I need very in-my-face reminders of why this isn't all about me.)

So, things are good. In fact, I was typing an email to a close friend yesterday and found myself writing, "We're really good." And I was struck by how simple that sounded, those three words, but they represented so much truth and depth and strength it nearly overwhelmed me- we're really good. Right now I'm sitting and typing in the wicker chair my parents gave us, about 3 feet from JP while he does something at his desk involving Excel charts, and even though I'm know I'm not always giving my finest mother performances in some of these recent evenings, and JP is going to be too hot, exhausted, and/or dehydrated to give us much of himself on at least a few nights this summer, and I'd rather be together sleeping in bed than together typing while he does swim school things, we're really good.


  1. So happy to read this... and congratulations on your little girl!

    You don't need an excuse for not being totally selfless all the time (full day, pregnant, hyper kids, etc.) It's hard to always appreciate each other even without all that going on.

  2. Girl?!?!? Wait, what did I miss?!