Three Kids and a Dog

Sunday, January 19, 2014

The Return

I've been back at work for about two weeks now. Lots has changed. I have three kids to manage and I live a lot farther away from work too. I wake up about 5:50 am (unless Hailey wakes up at 4 or 5 am to eat and it's my turn to feed her) and get ready in the dark. The house is quiet and everyone is asleep aside from Adler who watches me wondering why I continue to get up so early these days.

At 6:40 am, I make my way downstairs and out the garage door into darkness. The weather has been cold and the sidewalks and streets are caked in ice. I cautiously slide along as fast as I can manage so I don't miss my train. It takes me eight minutes to walk to the center of town. It's dark and there aren't a lot of commuters walking at this hour, but I pass the same lady every day who walks toward me.  She has just disembarked from the train and is walking toward all the houses. I imagine she's nannying for someone in the area as she trudges along with her lunch. I gage where she is in her walk and calculate how much more time I have to get across the tracks before my train comes without pulling out my phone to check the time. I don't know why I even bother, the trains have been miserably late the past two weeks due to the cold. So I wait with the rest of the commuters, hoping I don't make a mistake and get on the local instead of the express when every train is running behind.  I take the train into Union Station. It's a mad house compared to Northwestern, which I used to commute into 15 years ago. I disembark and fight my way through the wave of passengers and then wait for the bus to take me to my work. By now I've been up for more than two hours now and I'm just ready to start my day.

I work all day, maybe get together with a friend for lunch and then bound out of the office as fast as I can pretty close to 4:30 pm to catch the train that will get me home and inside my house by 5:45 pm.
My kids are bathed and happy thanks to our new nanny who is working out great. Now we can enjoy dinner together, do a little homework, talk about our day and play a game together as a family. The evening seems a lot more enjoyable and less stressful. But I still miss seeing Hailey regularly, picking up Austen from school and having one on one time with him as he does his homework; taking Peyton to ballet and gymnastics and watching her play on her own in the mornings admiring how big of a four year old she already is turning out to be; and not seeing my kids in the morning.

Austen has gladly stepped into the role of helping in the morning since I can't.  He helps Peyton get dressed if needed and starts preparing breakfast for everyone. He can really be a great helper. How lucky I am to have him as my first born.


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