The teachers in Ontario have had a few strike days recently, so I’ve had Caleb at home. I feel very fortunate that I’m in a position where Caleb can “come to work” with me very easily, although of course I also feel a lot of gratitude and admiration for teachers who are in our classrooms.

While it can get a bit hairy, in part because the cold weather means so much more effort to bundle the kids up and get them outside, I do enjoy having Caleb home. It’s much more relaxed than our usual pace (which is perhaps a thought worth a little more thinking about), and we can take our time to do things that we ordinarily might not do, or feel rushed and tired getting done: reading together, going to the library, cello practice, sorting through his toys, doing puzzles, writing letters. We spent this morning working on his Valentines for his class—something that had completely slipped my mind until we received a slip from his teacher with the names of all the students in the class.

It’s also a chance to go the main shop, which is nice especially on quieter days out front. We tend to be busier shipping during the week, and busier in shop over the weekends, and both have their advantages and disadvantages for bringing the kids along. It’s great when it’s quiet in the shop because Caleb and Naomi can help restock the gel pens, dust, sort ink cartridges by colour and brand, price tag things—although that can get out of control quickly because we only have one price gun and the thing is pretty unwieldy for Naomi and we end up with price tags everywhere. I was just thinking the other day about how Jon and I sometimes struggle to squeeze in the opportunities other kids have—it’s tough to buy skates and find the time to bring them to skating rink when we spend our weekends at the shop—so I’m trying to bolster my self-confidence as a parent by thinking about how Caleb won’t be mixing up a Sarasa and a G-2.*

On the way to the main shop, with the whole family, we drove past a group of teachers on the picket line. I told Jon to honk, but he was too self-conscious and we “missed the chance.” Fortunately, later on we drove past another group of teachers at another school, and I got my chance to lean over and press on the horn a few times.

In any case, we’re trying to make the most of these days with that elusive quality time. Before I know it, it’ll be spring, and then they’ll be leaving for college.

*Occasionally a rogue Sarasa will end up in a G-2 cup. We’re working on it.

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February 11, 2020 — wonderpens



Kate said:

I love hearing about how you blend work and life into a beautiful dance. With family as the focus, it seems you have found a perfect balance with, at its center, true and deep joy. ?

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