Christmas Miracle & the End of an Era (5m4w)

What a week this has been!  Kieran’s first Christmas, surrounded by family.  I took some vacation time off work to combine with paid holidays to give us some time together as a family these last few days, and most of next week.

Turns out it’s a good thing I took the time off this coming week – because Paul won’t be home with us for a good portion of Monday – Wednesday.  You see, Paul will be AT WORK.

That’s right: PAUL GOT A JOB!!  A FULL-TIME JOB!!

The short story is that these folks came to Paul because of a tip from a VERY unexpected vector, based on work Paul had done while at the Venetian.  His photography and video (shooting & post-production) skills, his IT knowledge, and his ease when working with ‘talent’ are all coming back to serve him once again.  The job is full-time, Monday through Friday, at decent pay.  We are THRILLED.  (The “interview” was on Christmas Eve, with one day notice.  Not that it was an interview, really.  More like: “Here’s what we want you to do and here’s what we can pay you for it.  Does that work for you?”)  Paul will be working a couple of half-days this week to get up to speed.

But what this means is that Monday January 3rd marks the end of an era.  Daddy Day Care is closing, and Kieran will be spending his days in a daycare center.  Paul and I are doing our best to get right with this as quickly as possible.  We knew this day would come eventually.  It was supposed to happen much earlier.  But it doesn’t make it any easier.

We know that Kieran will do wonderfully at daycare.  He’ll probably learn to nap.  He’ll be surrounded by teachers who will play with him and hug him and make sure he’s well taken-care of.  He’ll learn sign language, and sharing and playing with others.  He’ll get over his burgeoning stranger anxiety.  All of this is to the good.

But he won’t be home with his Best Friend Daddy.  Knowing Kieran was home with Paul made it MUCH easier for me to spend my days in my office.  Paul and Kieran have such a great time at home.  Paul is exhausted every evening after a day full of playtime that start at 4:45am – but he loves it.  To say Paul is in love with his little boy is an understatement.  Seeing Paul and Kieran together has been one of my greatest joys.

It’s hard to watch Paul coming to terms with his new situation.  On one hand he’s thrilled to have landed a job that will allow us to actually pay our bills and cut the stress that has been mounding on me for months.  (I’ve been quiet about it here, but things are/were/are getting pretty desperate money-wise.)  He’s pleased to have (once again) gotten a job because others were seeking him out.  (Nice little ego boost there…)  But he’s crushed that he won’t be home with Kieran any longer.  Paul’s new schedule (9:30-6:00) will mean that at least at first, Kieran will already be in bed when Paul comes home.  Daddy-Kieran time will have to happen in the mornings and on weekends until a new schedule settles in.  I know how hard it was for me to go back work – I cried myself to work every day for a month.  I can only imagine that it will be much harder for Paul, having had six months at home with Kieran.

We’re looking into the daycare that is literally around the corner from the house.  It’s the same franchise as the one we’d settled on by my work – and from what we can tell, the programs and prices should be the same.  (We tried to go check them out on Christmas Eve but they closed early that day – good for them.)  Our thoughts are that since Paul will be working on our side of town and later than I do; it would be good to let him have time with Kieran in the morning and then drop him at daycare before heading to his office.  I can pick him up when I get home in the afternoons.  (This will mean that I’ll be changing my schedule to stop working from home in the near future, no need to anymore.)  Kieran’s been pushing his bedtime later and later recently, so we’re hoping that the institution of naps will help shift things even further and allow for some family time in the evenings.

So tomorrow morning we’ll go tour the center that is a 2-minute walk from our front door, and see if they have room to take our little boy.  He won’t start until *next* Monday, but we need to get this sorted out as soon as we can.  I have no doubts that there will be plenty of tears that first morning – from all of us.

So for this last week of 2010 especially, we’re savoring each minute our little guy is home with us during the day.  2011 is already shaping up to be an incredible year.  We are SO THANKFUL that Paul has found a job, and we’re ready to whatever it takes to make this a happy two-job family.  It’s just gonna take a little getting used to.

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