I have a job — by which I mean, I now have the sort of job that comes with a title and a salary, not the sort I’ve been doing for the last eight years that comes with neither.
This has changed some things around here. I now get up before anyone else in the family, not to have time to myself (although the house is very quiet), but to beat traffic up into Portland. I spend all day working with other adults on intellectually strenuous problems. At lunch I read my book; at the end of the day I drive home alone, listening to a book on tape or classical music.
Dave, meanwhile, has been packing lunches, taking the kids to school, and handling dentist appointments. He takes his laptop to school and tries to squeeze in a little work while Mica plays with the other kids, returning periodically to be fed. This week he has also started making dinner during the week — for the second night in a row I returned home to a hot meal.
The boys have expressed mixed feelings about this change. On the one hand Dave asks much more work of them than I do. (When I gave Dave my list of weekly chores, he expressed confidence that he could train the kids to do them.) On the other hand he has also raised their allowance. There are clearly pros and cons to the situation.
There are pros and cons for me, too. Most of my hobbies have been put on hold, at least until we can move closer to Portland and I can spend less time commuting. On the other hand I am meeting new people, doing interesting work, and getting way more reading done.
Overall the family seems to be settling in quickly. Soon I suspect this will feel entirely natural.