It is a special kind of irony that tomorrow marks my return to paying work while everyone else takes a break from work to honor the dead. Nevertheless, I am grateful to be back at my desk, typing away at a project aimed at middle-schoolers. I have been interviewing for more "standard" positions, too. Initially I was looking for temporary work, but then an opportunity for a part-time permanent position came up. It's not in education. I haven't done anything like it in years. The pay can't compare to freelancing--but it would be every week, rain or shine. I met and liked the other person in the office. I met and liked the person who would be my boss. If it doesn't come through, I don't know if I'll keep looking for something else. Freelance work, like it always does, has passed through it's difficult pause and there will soon be plenty of work again. But if offered the position, I believe I'll take it. The work would suit me, and getting a supplemental paycheck regularly would suit me, too. I would continue to freelance, but no more taking on two full-time contracts and one more part-time on the side.
Regardless of whether or not I end up doing some work outside the house, the beginning of June marks the beginning of a full swing back into employment, and even though I won't see a paycheck for that until some time in July, that's a good thing. Still, I have some mixed feelings about it. Last summer, although work wasn't slow, it was a continuation of work I'd been doing all spring, so I was in a groove, and I was able to fairly easily find a half-hour slot here and there to do a reading lesson each with Ben and Milo. This summer I wanted to do the same with RightStart Level B. We tried that a bit last summer, but I couldn't quite swing it with work and the reading lessons. Now that both boys are independent, self-motivated readers, I feel I can let them coast a bit and focus some on math.
Except that I might not be able to. More than I ever used to before, I'm trying to be more aware of when I'm piling my plate impossibly high with a list of things that just can't be done. There's a reason I'm knitting all the new babies sweaters--in size 12 months. That's doable. Anything smaller might not be. This week I started and finished a sweater for my nephew--but that was only doable because a) I wasn't working yet and b) it was a v-neck sweater vest. No sleeves. Oh yeah, and because it's a size 2T. That's like 1 inch wider and 2 inches longer than a size 12 months. It's my own design, but it borrows inspiration from the Jaeger sweater I'm making for Milo, so I only had to rip back and redo a few sections (mostly because there are two cables on one side of the sweater and none on the other--which means when you divide for the neck, the side with the cables needs a few more stitches in order to measure the same as the side with no cables. Cables pull, like gathers.)
Even though it's summer, there will still be piano music to practice (for the kids, but it doesn't happen if I don't make it so), swim practice and swimming meets, work and more work, the small garden in the front yard (which is doing beautifully and will only need weeding and eating at this point) and the large garden at Tudek park (which is doing beautifully, but still needs the second round of corn sowed and some melon plants--and the endless weeding--and the tomatoes will soon all need staking). I keep going back in my mind thinking that I should have somehow planned this all out better, so I'd have more time for summer schooling. And I can think specifically what I would have done differently (including skipping the whole lack of work thing entirely) but I always follow this thought up with an overwhelming feeling of gratitude for having had such a wonderful spring with my kids and my husband. We are so broke, and sometimes it really does hurt, but I've another opportunity to appreciate my husband anew. I've had another opportunity to appreciate what great kids I have. So. I might not be able to squeeze in RightStart this summer. That might just be too much.
And then I think, "It could actually be a good thing if they started kindergarten at the same level as the other kids in math. It would give them a reason for going to school and something to get excited over." And I have to laugh at myself. I wanted to tell them all about math first. It's still hard for me to share them. I still want to be my children's first and only teacher. I like being with them. I love teaching them. But it's clear to me that God had another path marked for me. And I'm ok with that. I would have done this life differently, had I been able to plan it all out and make that plan a reality, but that doesn't mean this way--the way things have turned out--isn't perfectly right. After all, it still involves Chris and three wonderful children and one goofy, ball-chasing dog (There's another example right there. I would totally have chosen cats. Not for anything would I have ever predicted I'd one day be a standard-poodle person. But enter Chris and his allergies and here we are.)
Anyway, tomorrow I have work (and a lot of leftovers from our party today) and that's a good thing.