It’s amazing the way life’s pace picks up the second your husband and his boat arrive home from fishing. I felt the the change–the quickening of the household pulse–even as I stood on my porch last week and watched George and the Vis glide across the bay, home from the Alaska halibut and blackcod season.
Here on our own, the little ones and I take things rather slowly. (How fast can one move with a 10-month old and a 2-year old, anyway?) We operate on, as someone aptly described not long ago, “baby time.” We don’t plan for too much outside the house, pace ourselves when we do have things to get done, and try to take our work and play inside the house as easy as possible.
I’m a stay-at-home mom in part because when George is gone, I like our children to have one parent at home and available at all times. In addition, I choose to not work outside the home (teaching Jazzercise is a hobby) because when George is home, I want to be free to go on a trip with the family, have an easy morning, meet up for lunch, or go on a spontaneous ride to see something new without having to check in with someone.
So, I had to laugh last night. For a commercial fisherman who is home, with a wife that doesn’t work, and children too young to have anything to do but hang out with Mom and Dad, why has it been so hard to plan a family trip?
Mind you–this is not a big trip to Florida or Hawaii or even to Disneyland. This is an easy road trip to my parents’ beach house, or perhaps to my sister’s mountain condo. Places where airports and small children don’t have to mix, dogs are welcome, and we stick to our own travel schedule.
We thought it would be easy–“Let’s go to the beach from June 23 until July 8,” George suggested.
We looked at the calendar. “That’s not going to work,” I said. “The house is being used until the 23rd. Then Steph and Ryan are going on the 2nd. Cass and Kyle are going for the 4th of July.”
“How about we go July 7 ?” George said next.
“I teach Jazzercise that day,” I replied before quickly adding, “But I’m sure I could find a sub.”
“Wait, that won’t work for me anyway,” said George, who is having the boat hauled out for maintenance soon. “How about we go on July 25?”
“Sure,” I said. Then, “Oh, wait a minute. I have a CPR class on the 26th and I can’t change it.”
We decided to just hold off and take our family trip in August this year. The sun will be out, and the beach house will be available to stay in as long as we want. Boat maintenance will be over, classes will be over, and we can truly relax.
But wait. George might be in the middle of his summer fishery then. And Mom just e-mailed and said she and Dad were going to the beach house for two weeks in August.
We just laugh. For a guy home from fishing and a stay-at-home mom, scheduling has suddenly become rather…difficult.
How’d that happen?