My dad delivered mail for 30 years, and during the long hot Georgia summers, he would come home and immediately take a dip in our swimmig pool. He would say, “it gets the first layer off.”
Lately that phrase has been coming to my mind after several days of work where I haven’t had time to spend a full morning with my son. It usually seems to take a day or at least a few hours to relax, reconnect, and re-establish that rhythmic, harmonic feeling. This time can feel distressing, like I’ve lost something, but then I think, “it’s like we are getting the first layer off.”
I wonder how many parents ever get past that first layer, when the weekday never ends until 6:30, and weekends are filled with karate, soccer, and trips to Target.
Grateful I am for the number of peaceful mornings we have spent co-existing in our home and connecting with each other and with the creative parts of ourselves. Somehow I feel if I can cultivate that gentle feeling at least a morning or two a week, then we will have a much better time living together the rest of his growing up years.
“If you think you can do a thing or think you can’t do a thing, you’re right.” ~ Henry Ford
I am not where I want to be when it comes to the balance between the time I work and the time I spend “homeschooling” my four-year-old son. But I persevere.
To try to take one or two full days during the week with him sounds wonderful, but is not usually realistic. So I have experimented in shifting our time together to the mornings rather than mid-afternoons. A day where spend the morning together and go our separate ways from 1-5 is almost as good as a full day together. It is immensely better than when our separation occurs from 8-1, and certainly from 8-3 or 4. Why? Because the mornings are such a precious, open time for creating and connecting.
We both seem to flourish when we have our “yin” time at home together in the morning. Our rhythm leans toward the “yang” – being in the outer world – in the afternoon, so it lends itself to connecting with the nanny, with clients, etc. then. Even delaying the start of my work day to 10 a.m. is an improvement over rushing to get to the office by 8:30, and postponing family time ’til the day’s tasks are through.
Many days, I cannot make it happen. Not even the 10 a.m. start. But I think I am on to something, and awareness is the best way I know to work toward an ideal.