As Pookie clung to me this morning, sleepy at 5:30, she lamented I would be missing her soccer practice. Having only just started playing, she was still nervous about the swarm that is 6 under soccer. My reassurances at being at the games went unheeded. To her there is no difference between practice and games. I wasn’t supposed to miss either.
I have traveled full-time before, right before getting married and then a few years later. Lovely Wife and Pookie, though, pull me harder to stay. I want to stay.
I will be commuting to Gotham four days and three nights a week until Christmas. If I, or they, am able to last that long. I will be missing the bulk of kindergarten: taking in snack, dropping off and picking up, volunteering in the class. These were all done last year in pre-k. I feel as if I am abandoning a duty.
Lovely Wife has said that when I travel she is a single mom. I don’t like to hear that, and I get defensive. I like to think of myself as a modern, liberated man. I was dishes, vacuum, carry laundry and fuddle my way through co-parenting. I moved with Lovely Wife to Brand U and worked as well as I could to support her in her studies. Logistics called for me to adjunct in the morning and to baby-sit the afternoon and evening. It was hard on Lovely Wife (Pookie doesn’t like to share or be far from her mom), but she graduated with relative ease.
Moving back to small-town, though, was a hard decision made, it seems, by outside forces as much as by ourselves. LW’s good starting job at Large East Coast town would not cover the bills, and I spent a fruitless spring and summer not getting the many jobs to which I applied. So, out of economic necessity and the desire to provide greater familial support to Pookie, we moved back to LW’s hometown. Six Aunt and Uncles and a second cousin of similar age waited, and P. has flourished from being there.
We, though, have not. LW has encountered some rather severe discrimination from her degree, losing a series of jobs she should have easily gotten. I, too, have limited prospects. My skills designing, developing and delivering complex software training is of little utility in farming country. And, even though the technology is available, telecommuting is shunned in favor of face-to-face time. So, I type this at 32,000 feet, missing my wife and child so that I may cover the spread.