Next week Tuesday the girls return to school, Marietta off to Grade 5 and Rebecca to Grade 3. And a week later Rob will join those of student status in our house. Yup, Rob is returning to school. We are often asked if he intends to return or when he intends to return. I guess we have just lived on the assumption that he is returning this September without much thought of it being any other way, so we just assume that those who know he took off for a year also know that he is returning this September. But given how often we are asked if he is returning, I guess I should just take a minute to clarify this.
Yes indeed we will be returning to the life of a student family. Do I look forward to this change in lifestyle? I think I can answer yes to this. There is no doubt that I do not look forward to being a student's "widow" again, but I do look forward to this change simply because it means we are back on track with our goal. We have three more years to go and it would be nice to carry on with the process.
The past year has been wonderful. It has been wonderful to have my hubby around again, even if much of the time he was either working long hours or busy with other things. I have to face the fact that no matter what Rob will always be busy, he simply doesn't know how to sit still or relax but believes that a person must always be busy fixing or doing something useful and/or productive. I suppose there is a bit of that blood in me also, but not quite so much. And I must admit that it does seem there is always a million things to do and so there is no room for sitting back or relaxing. With a large list of thing to tackle before he returned to school Rob always found himself busy around the house. But at the same time, there was the freedom to let things wait, to just drop something and head out for an evening, to socialize on whatever day or night worked, to be involved in things other then study books and school work, to have a lower stress level, to spend time with the kids.
Ah yes, we are going to miss Rob as he returns to his books for what seems like 24/6 but is more like 17/6. Rob will admit that he isn't the "brightest" student. While I don't think he's slow or dumb in the least bit, we have come to accept that he can't quite study as quickly as some of those more gifted students. I wouldn't say he's a "dull" student though, but more average as other students at the College require close to as much hours as Rob needs at his desk.
I won't deny that I have my jealous moments when speaking to those wives whose husbands do not need to be at the desk quite as long, but I am always comforted knowing that there are just as many wives who must survive without seeing much of their husbands either. I won't deny that I get frustrated when people don't get how much time it takes for the College guys to do their studies. There is nothing more frustrating then talking to someone who likes to tell me that their husband works a full-time job and still has time to do this or that or whatever it is that we're talking about. I have learned to bite my tongue if people don't get it ... or don't want to get it ... really Rob's at his desk from 6am to 12am a good part of the school year - usually with a break for meals, a bike ride home (when we lived in the city) and time to tuck the kids in. There is no time for bible study, choir, Council, or any of those other things he'd love to partake in, and for sure not time for hanging out on a weeknight. We usually start the school year with me reminding him that he needs to take at least a 4 hour chunk of time off on Saturdays for his family, as well as 1.5 hour on Friday evening for game night. While he faithfully attends the game nights (except during exam time), the 4 hour Saturday time usually ends by the end of September. Sunday is social day, but sometimes it's better to just not socialize as it is also rest day, unwind day, refresh day ... and how about some family time? It's a bit of a struggle trying to have some sort of social life still, while also getting the proper rest and family time.
With the kids older and the recent year off I am going into this year a bit revived (or is it forgetful of what it was like). The recent year off was a wonderful treat and good for the family. Now as Rob returns to the books we can focus on the end of the road again. The past 4+ study years have gone amazingly fast, we can make it thru these next three years also.