We call it “throwing a wrench in” around here. It doesn’t happen often, although often enough that we have a dedicated expression when it does. A game changer. A sudden shift in the plan. Sometimes even an about-face. It throws us into chaos for a while, and then it all settles down into a new normal. I have to remind myself of that, that soon it will be normal. Not the same normal as before, but normal. Right now, well, right now I have only just remembered that it is Thursday, because where did the week go?
Next week I start a new job. In the midst of a full load of grad school classes, children at two different schools on two different schedules, an ever growing list of afterschool activities that require the kind of ferrying I swore I wouldn’t ever take part in and a part time graduate teaching practicum gig, I am taking over a much neglected library at a K-8 school. It’s crazy. Utterly crazy. And yet, I can't wait to start.
Our family balance has always been centered on the fact that I am here. Here for sick days and vacation days, late starts, field trips, midday concerts, afterschool conferences. It was a decision we made long ago, and one that has worked well for the 12 plus years that we have been parents. And while it was always the plan for me to go back to work, that was supposed to be later. After school, after the trial run of this practicum, when we had all (myself included, myself especially!) had time to adjust to the idea of mom being more than just mom.
But fate has a way of throwing that wrench in. And this chance was too perfect to pass up. A library. My library. My own library. So it’s back to school I go. Twice over. As a student and as a librarian. I have an excellent cheering section. They all seem to think I can do this crazy thing. This full time plus half time plus another half time plus all the other things that need to get done in a day thing. They will pick up slack, I will let things go, someone will forget and event or an activity or a paper that’s due (it will most likely be me) life will be crazy. And then, after a little while, it will be our new normal. Until the next wrench comes along, of course.