Jun 14 2007

wishful thinking

Published by at 10:11 am under amy's head,daily,kids,likes & irks

It’s been almost 2 years since I returned to the work force after staying at home with my kids for a few years. When I first went back to work, I took a temporary job in DC covering for a woman about to go out on maternity leave. I got up while it was still dark, put on dress clothes with sneakers, drove to the VRE train and rode for an hour and 15 minutes to L’Enfant Plaza. Then I hopped off, crossed the street and hopped on the metro. Then I hopped off at West Farragut and walked 3 blocks to my office, where I took off my sneakers and put on some heels. Then I did all that in reverse to get home again.

This was actually a step up from what I started – driving up 66 and just metroing up into DC. The train took a little longer, but it was worth it. I got to sit and relax, read a book, work a sudoku puzzle, read the paper.

Still… it was about an hour and forty minutes of commuting. It sucked. Almost 4 hours daily just getting to and from work.

So when I took a permanent position in the Falls Church area (merrifield, really) it was a big improvement.

I seem to recall from last year that the commute was easier in the summer. For some reason, after school gets out the roads clear up. Is it all those teachers who no longer are going to work? Is it because now parents don’t have to get out the door at a certain time to avoid buses, or drop kids off? I don’t know what the reason was, but I do remember it being easier. I keep waiting for it to start getting easier. Shorter. Zippier!

For some reason or another, I’ve begun to think wishfully about staying home with the kids. I don’t know why, but as they get older and “real school” looms on the horizon, I want to be home. Specifically, I want to be home when they get home. I don’t like the fact that they’re in preschool until 5-6ish each day, even though we all love our school. Even though they’re out on a HUGE playground, running around having a ball with their friends. Even though I know they like school, they are happy when they get picked up a little earlier on occasion. On days when they get picked up a little later than usual, and things in the evening are rushed with dinner, cleaning up, laundry, bathtime and bed with little playing time, they complain.

So for whatever reason, when I think about them in elementary school, the thought of extended day just really doesn’t appeal to me. Maybe it’s the fact that I was never in any sort of day care when I was growing up. Do I want to be there when they get home because my own mother was? I don’t know. Ethan is starting kindergarten in the fall. I don’t know about you, but that qualifies as “real school” to me. We are keeping him at his current school, in their private kindergarten, so I am not too anxious about this dream of staying home YET, but I have decided to try to pick them up earlier than we have been doing. I guess the thought is maybe if I can swing it, then maybe later on when they’re in “real school,” I could work it so I’m home from work in time for school ending. I don’t even know when school is out for the day, but regardless, I’ve been trying to get in early to work so I can leave early, and pick up the kids early. So far, “early” has only equaled picking them up at about 5pm. (IE: not very early, but it’s better than nothing.)

I keep waiting for the “easy summer” commute to start. Every monday I wonder if maybe NOW the traffic won’t feel like I’m sitting in a dentist’s chair just WAITING for the drilling to start. But every Monday it sucks ass. I don’t know if it’s because I’m getting up earlier now, but it even seems like it’s worse than before.

Today it took me 1 hour and 20 minutes to get from home to desk. Grrrrr.

So 2 years of doing this commute is making it really really old. It’s making the romantic visions of staying home seem even dreamier, and it’s also making me dream about moving. To a house in a nice neighborhood with a fenced in yard and beautiful mature trees and ample gardening space with friendly neighbors, excellent schools, and is equi-distant between mine and james’ places of work.


I hope the magical easy 15 minute summer commute starts on monday.

And I’d also like a pony.

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