Has anyone seen my husband? Handsome, 6.4, usually impeccably dressed, always with great shoes, hair a little unruly right now (he’s getting it cut tomorrow), and likely rambling on and on about how amazing his wife is…anyone? Anyone???
I emailed my husband this morning and told him it felt like we hadn’t seen each other in years. Truthfully, I had seen him just a few hours before when he kissed the little girls and I on his way out the door. He is swamped at work, has had several evening meetings at which he plays an integral part, he’s in class three nights a week, he’s currently on-call for Jury Duty, and for what seems like months he’s been constantly on the move.
He’s been getting home with just enough time for us to watch TV together for a half hour before we both crash and burn. We communicate through email and text reminding each other of things we have to remember…forms we need to complete, things that have to be mailed, people with whom we need to communicate, etc.
Usually by this time in the summer we’ve golfed several times, we’ve been to the outdoor pool at our gym several times, and we’re at least two shades darker from all of our time outside. We’ve usually met other couples for dinner at lovely patios, grilled out nearly every night, and our house is in great shape thanks to productive weekend projects. Instead, we haven’t seen many of our friends in ages, we haven’t even refilled our propane tank this summer, and our house? I can’t even get into our house (without feeling violent). I kind of feel like we’re limping forward as best we can, in a constant state of “we have to do this! We have to do this! We have to do this!”
If we were in any other time and place within our lives, it wouldn’t work. He would have dropped the class (if not the program) by now, or I would have begged him to do so, and we’d go back to our merry summer plans. But we’re so close to the end of this particular chapter in his schooling. Soon enough he’ll be taking the GRE and making his way into his Masters program. When I say “close”…it’s on the horizon but we’ve still got a little ways to go. What it means, however, is that if there are opportunities for him to blow through some of his required classes (for example…two language courses in one summer) we have to pounce on them. The more we can get done now, the easier it will be in the end when he’s also studying for that pesky GRE.
I’m going to be honest. I not always so excited about this school thing. When we met he had no interest. Then, I was up for a job at a local university and he would have been able to go to school for 1/2 the price. We started talking about it then and it took hold. When he decided he wanted to go, I was ecstatic. I went to college right out of high school, went for four challenging years, got booted, but went back and worked my a-s off to finish…ten years after I’d started. Finishing my degree was horrible, I hated it, but I am so proud of myself for having done it. I knew well that this might really suck for him, but I also know that my graduation day was one of my most cherished moments, and it will be for him too.
There are days, however, that I just want him to be able to stay home. For his sanity and also for my own. We already juggle a stupid amount of commitments, on top of our very full workloads, so adding anything on top of that sometimes feels so taxing. And he’s not taking online classes, so it’s not like he can kiss the little girls goodnight and then head downstairs to log into class. His a-s is in a desk on campus, a good 25 miles from home, several days per week.
But he’s doing it. He never skips class, he has a ridiculously good GPA, and every time we meet with an academic advisor and they tell us how much time he has left he is positive and upbeat. Whereas I think to myself ‘Jesus! Can’t he test out of some of this bullsh-t?!’ We now have a timeline, we know what’s required for the admissions process for his Masters program (piece of cake!), and by 41 he will be exactly what he wants to be when he grows up. Which is almost awe inspiring.
So while both of us, right this very second, could probably stomp our feet and throw a temper tantrum about the amount of things he has on his plate right now…we really are old enough to know better. We know it will pay off in spades, we know the day he finishes his B.A. (and subsequently his Masters) will be one of the happiest of our lives, we know that we’re on the right path for the life we want, and thus we have to be patient and accept the fact that sometimes it’s going to be harder than others.
If you see my lovely husband, tell him I say hello, and to keep on keeping on.
TODAY: What if, even though this isn’t going to be the kind of summer we really love, we do our best to enjoy it knowing it will help us get where we want to be?