Monday, March 19, 2012
Life in the fast lane
In response to Celia’s complaint that she doesn’t have the extra energy necessary to defend herself against teasing from both her mother and her husband, Rob repeated his apology and reminded her that he doesn’t have a lot of energy to spare himself right now as the holder of two jobs.
Celia continued to weep in the passenger seat of Rob’s car while he drove home. His wife was not typically a crier and he still could not get used to this new, more sensitive – “hormonal” was the word she used—Celia. It really was not fair that as hard as he worked he had to put up with this, too.
She blew her nose and he rolled his eyes.
Suddenly Rob had a moment of insight, and he did not like what he saw. They had not planned Celia’s pregnancy but they had both been in bed when it happened. Life on the home front was only going to get busier in the coming months, but as much as Rob liked the extra income, the second job was optional.
He opened his mouth to speak just as Celia did, too.
“You need to quit Starbucks,” she said. “It’s too much for both of us right now.”
“I was about to suggest the same thing,” he said. “We could probably have handled it right up until the baby is born, except for getting ready to move.”
They sat in silence for a few moments while these words seeped in.
“Don’t do it if you’re just going to blame me when we cut it close with the checkbook over the next couple of months,” Celia said.
“Our income is covering our expenses without Starbucks,” Rob said. “That’s maternity leave money. We just need to be careful when we move. We might need to do without a few things in the new house at first.”
“I’d rather do without a few things and have you available otherwise.”
“OK. I’ll put in my notice tomorrow when I go in.”
Celia took his hand. “Thank you.”
As they approached their exit, Rob was struck with the sense that life was moving fast, very fast, faster than he could manage. Just yesterday he was riding his skateboard to middle school and now he was taking on both a mortgage and parenthood in one short season.
Rob did not like feeling so sentimental, as if the desire to be twelve again meant that he was not capable of being twenty-five. Maybe he could sleep it off—he would try again to take a nap when they got home.
What happens next?