Front page and center, where for over a year our journals have told the plaintive story of plants shutting down and long and winding dole lines, the New York Times features this: "Fresh Arrival in Cul-de-Sac is Optimism". It's true, the thaw is finally reaching those who sat around the table with tears and fears, and the houses that were dark for foreclosure are lighting up again, albeit (I assume) with new families taking the place of those who were forced to move along.

These have been rigid and icy months, and we too feel the thaw. John has made it back into the workforce, in a new capacity, but utilizing the skills and experience he held fast to during the months when the phone didn't ring. He didn't have to take a hard left to avoid disaster, he stayed his course. I worried, wished for someone in the know to tell him what he had to do and how he had to do it; but his determination won the day. Karma, confidence, whatever. Incredibly, even on our particular cul-de-sac, spring has come.

Trickling back to work, fathers hand their stand-in duties back to Mom, or to the neighbor, or in some cases, to the kids themselves. Dads have been everywhere. They've served behind the wheel of carpools and as Orthodontics Negotiator. The Great Recession may have been what was needed to begin a shift toward shared home duties.

At our house, pizza from scratch was in the oven 10 minutes before the bus arrived home. On American Idol night, family-minus-me sat four abreast on the sofa, taking in what John billed as "an Evening of Performing Arts". New traditions. Already outlived.

And they miss their father. Recovery is now about re-redefining home life, responsibilities, the order of things. The next phase of the process is absorbing how we've grown.


He: "Now it’s scientifically proven: If Fathers educate children, they become more intelligent!"

She: "Who — Fathers or children?"

1 comment:

Talk of Our Town said...

Thanks for a great message, the cartoon is priceless.