It was my favorite game as a kid. Pick a partner, fashion a house, grab some baby dolls and play pretend. Here’s my kitchen, there’s your car, go to work, and I’ll make dinner. Day in and day out I loved to play grown up. As I got older this morphed into baby-sitting gigs and being a mother’s helper. As I cooed the crying baby to sleep I would daydream about when it would be my turn to have the family.
This whole last year has been surreal. B was a participant in the AF’s Olympic Training Program, which meant all he had to do was work out and go to practices and games. My teaching schedule dictated most of our daily lives, because he just didn’t have that much to do. It’s been a lot like still being in college. It’s been a lot like playing grown up.
Now, I’ve never held a regular nine-to-five job, and I probably never will. The closest I’ve come to it, is the year that I met B. I taught for two different programs, one from 0730-1300 and the other from 1500-1900. But as you can see, my day had a big two hour break in it. And my morning schedule was never back to back. Most days I would roll out of bed in time to hit that 0730 rehearsal, teach until my early lunch break, teach until my next break, go home and work out and shower, grab a snack on the way to my afternoon gig, teach there, then grab food on my way home with my boss. I almost never cooked. I ate out almost every day.
Certainly this last year, I’ve cooked a lot more. But still, my schedule has been very flexible. We would wake up whenever, go grab lunch, run errands, and then come home so I could teach. Laundry and cleaning was saved for the weekends. I didn’t feel like a grown up.
Today, B returned to a regular schedule for the first time since we got married. This will only last for a couple of weeks before we head home for Christmas, and then pick up right after we get back until we leave for Turkey. The guys here are amazing, they’re getting him retrained and requalified on everything and giving him some practical experience to help him ease back into things before he’s in a position bearing a lot more responsibility. It’s really good for him. It’s really good for us.
It was weird to wake up without him this morning. It was weird to make lunch for just me. Did I mention that we sold my car last week so I’m stuck at home while he’s at work? It was like a forced day of playing grown up. So I did what any good pretend adult would do. I vacuumed and did laundry. I planned out dinner and baked some cookies. I have everything ready to give B a good welcome home from his first day of work.
Is this where I finally graduate from pretending to be a grown up to actually being one? Or is it just that my idea of what being a grown up entails is skewed in my own head? Either way, the cleaner house, yummy baked cookies, and delicious dinner waiting to cook makes me feel like I’ve done something concrete. Something real. Maybe I’m not playing after all.