Thursday, June 16, 2011

The summer of 3 and 5

After three years of barely scraping by, we didn’t go negative this month. It was the first month in a long time that we didn’t spend more than we made.

The husband has been employed full-time for almost ten months now. He dislikes his job profoundly, which is representing bankruptcies at a firm that pays him much less than we had hoped he could make with his law degree. Still, we are grateful that he has a job at all; my career is still going rather well, but I don’t make enough to support the four of us. We’re hoping the husband can step down a bit into a part-time position somewhere; by the hour he could realize almost the same amount of money, and my job carries all the benefits anyway.

We’re both working so much, I worry that we’re not available enough to the children. I am probably over-anxious about this. A few months ago I was bedridden while recovering from throat surgery; I bought six different parenting texts to read during my convalescence. I know I’m doing something wrong, but I haven’t figured out what it is yet!

Dot is registered for kindergarten at a very good public school and will start in August. She reads on a 2nd grade level, and I’m working with her on basic math this summer. Her current favorite book is called “Dinosaur Dung” and we picked it up at McKay’s in Knoxville when we were there for Devon’s wedding. Diana found a Power Puff Girls pop-up book on the same trip. Dust was with us at the bookstore, and let Dot read to him while Winn and I looked around for things for ourselves. Winn collected an arm full of fantasy paperbacks, but I couldn't find anything; Dust kindly found me some She-Hulk from the '80's, and that suits me just fine.

We saw Erin as well, however briefly. We have all changed, and we are all the same. Ford is now Christy Thurman, and visited Atlanta with her husband last Spring. They hope to move to downtown Knoxville soon, making that town even more of a locus of old college friends for me. I don’t mind at all; I’ve always liked Knoxville. The geography makes a dense urban core of the kind that I’m most comfortable in.

Still, Atlanta is and will remain my home for years to come. This year I didn’t plant so many vegetables and a good thing too, as a deep cold snap in May followed three weeks later by an intense heat wave in June nearly killed everything I did put out. Just English peas, some potatoes, cucumber and a couple of cantaloupe this year, although I did front the porch with herbs – lavender, dill, rosemary, and lots and lots of basil. I still have onions and poke salet in the side lot, but the land owner plowed down my garden plot in the winter, after I reported him to the city for all his illegal dumping.

That’s another story. Maybe I’ll have time to type it up one day. Right now though, I have a demanding job, two little girls, a marriage and a house to look after. I couldn’t even do that without help from friends and paid help. When you think of me, think of never ending motion, but know that I do find time, now and again, to enjoy a rest with those I love.