($8/hour gravy train, here we come baby!)
I am so so very proud of him for being the guy who, in his early thirties, realizes that he has to change courses, overhaul his life and follow his bliss despite a grueling, thankless path to success that could kill a lesser man. And that lesser man’s lesser inlaws.
And, maybe, me.
Because with Nate still in school until January plus the unforgiving new work schedule, I am officially now a chef’s widow seven nights a week.
As in, all of them.
On one hand, it’s kind of nice to be home alone at nights. Once the kids are asleep–provided they actually are asleep and not in my bed either–I have a couple hours to myself with the TV, the ‘puter, and the Gavi. It’s kind of like being single, only with Play-Doh ground into the floor and no chance of sex.
But it’s just starting to set in that for the next five months, it’s not going to be a four or five or six-times a week thing. It’s going to be all of them.
No date nights. No weekends away as a family. No Can you walk the dog for me tonight? I’m tired and don’t feel like getting both kids dressed and out the door with me. No dinner parties with couple-y friends which, really, isn’t that the whole reason that most women don’t want to be single in the first place? The imagined dinner parties with the couple-y friends?
I’m having flashbacks to the college boyfriend, the drummer, who was away so many nights at gigs and band practice, that once when I was third-wheeling with Betsy and her boyfriend for the eightieth time, she blurted out, “If only you had a boyfriend too! It would be so fun if…um…” before she profusely apologized and went back to her White Russian.
(Do you remember that, Betsy?)
Of course I’m so incredibly fortunate that we have committed local grandparents and a flexible sitter (who now earns twice what Nate does) to step up and help out so I can actually have some semblance of an offline social life once in a while. But for the most part, dinner for me is going to equal scarfing the kid’s leftover fun shape ravioli at the living room coffee table across from a giant Don Draper and girls’ night out will probably have a twitter hashtag in it. That level of sacrifice is new for me.
I can’t help but think about what my friends the military wives and pilot’s wives and other mothers with traveling menfolk have learned to endure with frequency. At least for me it’s temporary. And the greatest risk to life and limb that I have to fear, provided Nate stays away from the meat grinder, are the midnight subway rides home.
Plus this all certainly it beats where we were as a couple three years ago when Nate was home full time, all the time, every day, and as miserable a piece of humanity as you can imagine.
I know that if we survive this, he will be happier. We will be happier. But oy. Seven nights a week.