Mondays are unusual days for me now. At least, the post-school afternoons are unusual. I couldn’t guarantee that I would be to bowling by its start time, so now Mark is going with Willy to his bowling league. I’m staying home with the boys—except “the boys” quickly becomes “the boy.” I get Alex and Ben off the bus, and then Alex’s respite therapist comes and takes him off to play. Well, it’s more like play-that-is-work, because his therapist exposes Alex to all sorts of opportunities to exercise his skills.
Last week, not realizing this new pattern, I let Alex play with the Kindle right away. He had about five or ten minutes on it and then he had to be done. Oops! Alex took it remarkably well, at least as far as giving up the Kindle and getting ready to go goes. He was mad at me, though, and he made sure I knew it. Oops! I hope to do better today.
Now, don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I don’t empathize with Mark or his role at stay-at-home dad and primary caregiver. I do. I was the boys’ primary caregiver for years. Some of that time Mark was home, but a significant portion of that time Mark was off at work. So, resuming a small portion of that role on Monday afternoons is no big thing.
But, we’ve all changed in that time. And if I don’t work, I can’t help meet our financial obligations. It’s strange. We’ve slipped into our role reversals quite well; we’ve become used to it. But every once in a while there’s that twinge—wanting to go back to the way things were. I get over it, of course. I have too much invested in my writing career to stop now. But, I suspect it’s a good thing that I get that twinge. And I doubt it’s going away any time soon.