Friday, January 13, 2012
Those are mighty big shoes to fill.
Photo by Damon Leo
Today is my last day working outside of the home. Starting next week I will be the fulltime caregiver for our family. This is a huge change for me (I've worked outside of the home fulltime for the last 10 years) and I'm not sure how I'm going to manage the transition. I'd like to think it will be a seamless transfer of responsibilities with me readily replacing staff meetings with trips to the grocery store.
In all likelihood there will be tears and frustration. It is possible I will fall into a Pinterest hole and never emerge.
You see, I have mighty big shoes to fill. Men's size 12 in fact. My husband (tall-dark-handsome-quiet) was our family's fulltime caregiver for the last seven years. Our babies were born in quick succession and we found ourselves with two nubbins under the age of two years old. My job required a lot of travel (go ahead ask me about ANY Best Western Hotel between Vermont and Claremont, CA! I can tell you allll about it) and Sean had reached a point in his teaching career where he was ready to focus on raising his own kids.
And so he did. He put on a sling and toted those babies all around town. He did the housework, paid the bills, fed the kids, fed the dogs, buried the dogs when they passed away, took the kids to doctors appointments and served as facilities coordinator for our sweet little co-op nursery school. He spent many a day as the only dad on the playground/only dad at the playdate. He grew very skilled at cultivating friendships with other parents. He lost whole days to elaborate lego games with Sweet Bubs, or getting Miss A to cheerleading events. And he did it all so well.
If you know my husband you would be hard-pressed to think of a time when he lost his cool. Dude is unflappable, even in the face of life's great annoyances. His bottomless well of patience is part of what makes him such an excellent parent and teacher (and hockey goalie--but that's another post). He is kind. He will do anything at any time to help a friend, no questions asked. He is loyal and funny and imaginative and a good listener and he hugs those babies so hard they never want to leave his arms.
If you know me you probably wouldn't use the words "patient" or "unflappable" to describe my demeanor. You'd probably use terms from the other end of the temperment spectrum. Terms like "Leo", "sailormouth", "stompy"...
The point is: I am going to work really really hard in order to be 1/5th the fulltime caregiver that Sean was. He set the standard high and I want to make him proud.