I do wish we could stay in summer longer. Today is the last day; I return to full-time work tomorrow. June was a little hectic as Josh was finishing his school year, we did a lot of traveling, and we...you know, moved. But July has been a calm time of preparation, movies, naps, cuddling, and just being together. We're really lucky that we've had this quiet time to reconnect and to get ready for our next chapter.
We started the day with those delectable banana walnut chocolate chip muffins and catching up on a couple episodes of Torchwood: Miracle Day. Sci-fi nerds find each other (I was a Trekkie, and Josh was a Stargater...then, we merged and had festivals of each). We later had that asparagus and goat cheese scramble for lunch (I'm a little obsessed with breakfast these days) and packed Oliver's diaper bag for the hospital (I'll probably post about that tomorrow!). We'll probably end the day with microwave s'mores, as we've been doing lately. I'm thinking about trying peanut butter on mine. I also want to watch Masterpiece Theater's Northanger Abbey (2007). British novel adaptations are almost always soothing (not so much for Dickens).
We've both written entries in Oliver's book (a journal we've decorated with stickers [mine] and drawings [Josh's]) today. We began the journal after our miscarriage as a book of letters to the baby we hoped to have someday. In the first entry, I wrote that I hoped the baby would come to us in April. That didn't happen, but by April, we had heard his heart beating, and soon after, we began addressing him by name.
The school is providing lunch tomorrow, but I've packed a snack pack with my usual snack (Dr. Pepper and a Nutty Bar: my daily indulgences), extra water, and cherries and cheese cubes. This first week, full of panels, training, assemblies, meetings, and workshops (and hopefully some class prep) will be fine...8-3-ish. Next week, with registration, will be madness, with most days stretching from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. The two-hour break in the middle would be more useful if I lived close enough to go home for a nap and snuggle time, but as it is, I'll probably lunch with coworkers, read or scribble in my car, or fit in extra meetings. Being able to get out of the building for a bit is nice.
Josh has put my bag o' office drawer vittles in the car and has also made me an MP3 CD of Little Women. He found Librivox, a project in which volunteers read aloud and upload public domain books. I've already found several I'd like to hear. I don't want to listen to books I've never read, but it's a great way to revisit old favorites and to pass the daily two hours of driving. I'm starting with Little Women, even though I've reread it in the last year or two, because I've ordered Little Men and Jo's Boys, both of which I've never read. I was never interested in boy stories growing up, but now that I'm going to be a boy's mother (and I've grown to be more like Jo and less like Beth), I want to finish the series. As my 30 Before 30 post illustrates, I've been feeling strongly lately about finishing children's series anyway (Little House on the Prairie and Chronicles of Narnia down, so many to go).
The audio books will sweeten the return to work. I'll also enjoy getting dressed and putting on makeup everyday, especially since my belly mandates extra creativity. I never thought I'd care about clothes! But, like makeup, they've become another form of self-expression. My students have said, "I wish I looked as cute as you when I was pregnant!" Students can be very sweet, and I'm always amazed at how much they notice. My spring students began to think I was pregnant when I was about ten weeks along, and a couple were brave enough to nervously ask a couple of weeks after that. "Your stomach didn't look like that when the semester started...."
I am nervous about how I'll handle the return physically and mentally. I'm worried that the pregnancy brain will get worse, and I'll forget something important. I'm worried that I'll be so exhausted that I won't be very functional. I'm worried about the drive. But I'm just telling myself that my routine for the next two months will be this: work and then come home and get in bed during the week; read/write and work on the house and baby preparations on the weekend. Hopefully, I can fit some movies and maybe a little cooking in there. I may teach Josh how to make some of our favorite meals. Josh was so kind and completely took over the housework when I was useless during the first trimester. I know he'll be that way again (he really is now), and he won't have the stress and exhaustion of his own job on top of it. This will help him help me and keep me from feeling guilty about being useless. Really, Josh is more of a born teacher than I am. But he'll soon have the most important student ever.
Though I'm reluctant to leave this cocoon of home (as I always am, even for brief periods), I know I am very blessed to have any job at all and especially blessed to have this one. For the first time, I'm really using my knowledge, talents, and education. I'm able to pull from my old love of showbiz to make class interesting. I'm able to help students change their attitudes about writing and see their abilities increase. Also, while my job can be very stressful, it is free of dread. All my other jobs have had me sitting in my car before a shift in a miserable semi-panic. I get tired and overwhelmed and a little worried sometimes, but I stride into work feeling good about myself and knowing that I can do the work. I work with people who and in an environment that let me keep my calm. I'm sure Josh will send me little messages during the day. And for the next two months (hopefully!), I'll have a precious little one with me all the time, there to share the voices I hear and the food I eat and to remind me, though often only with sleepy flutters if I'm working, that he is here.
(The Time Traveler's Wife http://beta.rottentomatoes.com/m/time_travelers_wife/pictures/18.php#highlighted_picture)