Saturday, February 09, 2008

You haul Sixteen Tons, whadaya get?

What you are looking at is indeed a truly historic document in my household. When I showed this one to the Mrs. the very first time, she stopped dead in her tracks, was completely speechless, and nearly teared up. When I told my family about it, they wanted proof so here it is.

This is the first paycheck I've earned and received in 8 1/2 years.

When my son Alex was born back in November, 1999, I gave up my less than lucrative career in retail management and officially became a "stay-at-home dad". My wife was in the last few years of a geriatric fellowship in Michigan and looking ahead to the summer of 2000 when we would leave the metro Detroit area and back home again to Indiana.

Since moving here, my wife has worked relentlessly for a retirement home as its director of health administration. She had the inevitable task of taking a facility still stuck in the 1950s and transform it into a state-of-the-art, 21st century facility complete with separate areas for assisted living, physical therapy, and a one-of-a-kind Alzheimer's unit that's been recognized nationally.

During this period, I've been taking care of the house, raising the kids, making the beds, cooking the meals, and dabbling on the home computer. I've witnessed each one of my children grow from mewling and puking infants to the cute, strong, and sometimes obstinate kids they've become.

As the kids keep growing, so does the list of things to do with them. What began as changing a diaper and letting the kids crawl around has become scouts after school for Alex (pickup at 4:30), cheerleading practice with Maggie (6-7), Alex's basketball practice (7-8), etc. Starting this fall, my youngest daughter Josie will begin pre-school and another list of duties will no doubtedly be added.

Seeing all these changes, my wife has been contemplating a change of her own for the past year or so. That change became a reality this past week when it was announced that she would be leaving her position effective at the end of March, 2008. She will be spending more time with us all and working closer to our home here in Fort Wayne.

Several months ago, I mentioned in one of my last posts of the year that "I might be heading back to the workplace". The job I now have is very, very part-time and I can set my own schedule. This can change at any moment depending on what offer my wife will take concerning her new job.

We'll see what cards are dealt us... I'm still keeping this blog and will try my best to post as much as I can. But if you don't see any activity for a long while, now you know why.



Jeff said...

Congrats Capt! Start that ball rolling and all kinds of great stuff will be coming your way!

stubbysfears said...

Congratulations! Now don't go spending it all on steam whistle Christmas records. ;-)

Ernie said...

Can we just pay you $39 a week and you keep up the Christmas reviews?

Stephen said...

Hey, Rob, thanks for posting this. My wife already dreads returning to work in a few years when our youngest is in school. Now I can tell her that I know someone who actually did it!

Candice Pardue said...

It might be difficult for you to leave home and go back "out there" - I know from being a stay at home mom many years that it's addictive being able to be with my kids and love on them as it was meant to be. With homeschooling in between work and everything else, it can be hectic, but it's well worth the time spent. I don't regret it for one moment. Good luck!

CaptainOT said...

Jeff - I got the ball rolling and now it won't stop!

Stubby - WOOOOT!

Ernie - I shoulda took you up on that offer!

Stephen - Your wife will be okay. Us stay-at-home dads experience more dilemmas when reentering the workplace - the reorientation, the constant explanation why you took several years off, the weird stares when you try to explain it all.

Candice - The years I've spent as a stay-at-home dad (it will be nearly ten when my youngest starts school in a year) will be the greatest thing I've ever done in my life.