Loose change

I have been reflecting on the changes that have occurred in my life in the past few years. Some of these changes were my doing, others, just good old fashioned flow. I had a child. Flow. My husband, a lifelong roughneck, lost his job of 20 years right after our very unexpected son was born. Flow.  He managed to get another, but lost that too. Flow. I ended friendships.  That was me. Losing one of those friendships was the most liberating and absolutely necessary things I ever did. The other was just as necessary but absolutely heartbreaking. My brain and my heart are cracked for good. It needed to happen. Prince sang some good lyrics back in the day about it being such a shame that a friendship had to end. I never appreciated that until now.

So these changes caused a ripple effect with my life. For the most part, I am living exactly as I expected to live. I have a very good job doing what I am good at. It’s not a ton of money but more than I expected to make. I fell into it more or less just to pay bills as a teenager. It’s a good industry. I don’t know why I am not particularly ambitious. I never have been. I really just want to be able to pay bills, have medical insurance, and a roof over my head. The rest is bonus to me. I am not an admirer of “stuff” and rarely want something I don’t have. I always thought of possessions and money as a treadmill that you can’t stop. I don’t like treadmills. George Jetson wasn’t kidding when he bitched at Jane to stop that crazy thing. And isn’t it just like a wife to get her man off a metaphorical treadmill?

The Mr. losing his gig didn’t make me panic too much. We had money in the bank, cars paid off, and in my mind, giving up anything else in return for keeping the family afloat is not an issue. Taking care of others has never been a problem for me.  But the changes that happened afterward had an effect on me that I didnt’ anticipate.

My husband became a stay at home dad, for the most part. Son goes to school everyday to help with his delays and be with other children. But he does the bulk of the parenting. This is a man who 10 years ago would rather have baked a child with an apple in its mouth and eaten it during football, let alone raise one. And happily, at that. But then I remember that I am ensuring the best possible life for my family, and I feel at peace with it.

After a tremendous amount of red tape, my husband has secured a grant for 2 years of college. Having lived with him for 13 years now, and only seeing his roughneck side, I admit I am kind of petrified that he may not do well. The aftermath of that could be really devastating. But then I remember that he is far smarter than anyone really thinks, and he knows he has a family to care for, so he will be fine. However, I never made it to college for one reason or another, and even though I have no clue what I would do if I went, I am kind of jealous that my husband is doing it and not me. But then I remember that I have a role in this family that I take seriously, and that in a few years from now, I probably could go and take classes without having to worry about money and time.  So that makes it okay too.

So, I temporarily get annoyed that my husband is living the life I kind of wanted, but didn’t want, doing things I should have done but didn’t, and I have regrets, but I don’t. Make sense? HA.

The main factor that really makes all of this okay is that my husband is a special kind of guy. On the outside, he is gruff. He sounds gruff, he acts gruff, he says outlandish things. I could say he is a softie on the inside, but honestly, he isn’t 100% soft. But he is a man who has made a tremendous amount of mistakes with his life. He is a man who didn’t know any different given how he was raised. He is a man who makes an effort every second of every day to be a good man. To make up for his past. To correct mistakes. To remember who he was a long time ago when he was at his happiest and when he was the least beaten down. Marrying me, having this child, losing this job, being a stay at home dad, going to college. These are all of his changes. His changes that made my life change. Talk about flow. This is his second chance at a whole new life and I will support him and help him make it happen. Not just for my family, but for him. Because I know with 100% certainty that in a few years when he is an educated professional, he will let me have my turn.



2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. twanda
    Sep 18, 2009 @ 00:45:40

    I’ve been there, and done that, with a similar guy. BEST and HARDEST thing I’ve ever done… Definitely the hardest.


  2. Tamale Chica
    Sep 25, 2009 @ 23:41:54


    In general, older students, ie, in the 25-30 year range tend to do much better as students. This is because they are more serious about learning and not just getting a grade. Older students also make better networking decisions, although chances are it will happen through professors and instructors, because they’ll notice he stands out.

    As one who went back to grad school at an age when most had finished it, I can tell you that the first two quarters or semesters are the hardest. After that, the body and mind begins to adapt. Once he gets into his field of study, which is after all the core curriculum stuff is out of the way, he may also find other financial aid incentives out there. So, so best wishes to you, your hubby and the one that looks a lot like his gramps.


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