Two days ago, I received a call from my former boss in California.
During the course of our conversation, he casually mentioned that it looks like the work they are doing on the west coast will in fact be going on for quite some time, and he will be there for a while. This is in stark contrast to what I heard just a few months ago, when we made the decision to pack up our entire lives and move east on eight weeks notice.
In the midst of everything else we had going on.
Later that night, as I was driving home in bumper-to-bumper traffic, I thought about the job I had in California. A job which I loved and allowed me to work FROM THE HOME so I could be with our children. I never faced traffic, unless I forgot what time it was when I ventured off to the grocery store for wine and chocolate. And all things pleasant.
When I arrived home on Tuesday night, I actually cried myself to sleep.
Not because I dislike my new job, but because I see the kids for half an hour in the morning, and an hour at night, and once they go to sleep, I'm surrounded by a house that needs SO.MUCH.WORK. and I'm so tired, but I can't go to bed, because if I don't do something, it's never going to get done and oh my gosh, how the heck did I get here?
But wait. That's not entirely accurate.
Because I'm genuinely HAPPY to be here.
I'm not sure how to describe my emotions over the past few days, except to say that I feel very confused and fragile. The slightest things will set me off in to tears. Which is probably normal considering I am adjusting to a completely and totally different life.
A life where I work in an office and my children are in school and I'm surrounded by all things new and exciting. And I really think I might be mourning the loss of my pregnancy. Which, I kinda thought that gut wrenching sadness would be over by now?
Lucky for me, and perhaps those within a certain radial distance of me, I have a lot of positive things to focus upon. For instance, I really adore our new neighborhood and house. And for as much as I adore our new neighborhood and house, our children adore it even more.
It makes me so happy to see how happy they are.
They've asked me countless times, "Please Mom, can we stay here forever?" And Henry, the child who kept telling me, as we were bouncing around from one hotel to the next, "I want go HOME, Mom!" will point at our house whenever we are outside and knowingly say, "That HENRY house! That MY home!"
I'm really enjoying my new job and I see so much potential for the good things I will hopefully contribute to the organization. Despite the back and forth debate that I wage with myself everyday about, "Why am I working when I could be home with my children?" and "What is the purpose for a woman to go to college if she ultimately has children and then is faced with the dilemma of career?" and "Am I doing The Right Thing, have I done The Right Thing, and WHAT EXACTLY IS THE RIGHT THING?"
Cheese and Crackers!
Will I figure out "The Right Thing", before our children graduate high school?
Maybe I just need some time to get settled in to our house and a routine and voila I'll find harmony with the work-life balance?
In the meantime, I'll admit that the time I do spend with my family is so much more precious than it has ever been, before. I savor the time that I can spend just sitting reading a book to the children - or scratching their backs - or talking with my husband. I feel so blessed and lucky to have them and to be here, and that we're all healthy and well.
Did I love them this much when I was with them all the time??
Tough to remember...
But on the drive home from work, when I see a helicopter land on top of a hospital and I spot a medical crew waiting on the roof, I break down and cry for the life and lives that have been flipped upside down. Whenever I pull over for an ambulance with it's lights flashing and siren blaring, I cry some more. And when I see the leaves on the trees turn from green...
To brown ...
I cry when I think of the passage of time.
And all the raking we'll soon have to do.