Saturday, July 21, 2007

107: family affair

we're a young family. most of our friends that have kids started their families when they were older than i am right now. the friends that are our age are just starting to consider children. when i graduated college, sebastian was almost one. by the time i start grad school, both kids will be walking and talking. and i will still be relatively young.
i'm writing this because we honestly forget sometimes that we are a young family. there are advantages to being a young family that are sometimes overlooked because of the numerous disadvantages. we don't currently have a lot of resources. or time.
i often tell those friends of mine who are starting to feel a little pressured to start their family to relax. enjoy your pre-child days. go on vacations to places where the water is unsafe. the kids will come when they want to and when they get here they will do as they wish. they are your guests, little humans that need to be shown around the place.

i will most likely never be a full-time stay-at-home mother, but i never had my sights set on that job anyway. this summer both jason and i have been working and it has been a strain on the family. the good thing is that i have discovered that i really enjoy teaching english to speakers of other languages. i could not probably create a more suitable career for myself besides for being a writer. i empathize with language learners but mostly, i simply like humans. i like making situations smoother for people so that they can focus on what really matters. i have so much respect for all of my students, even the young ones that are more interested in boys/girls than the lesson. i remember what is like to be young; after all it wasn't too long ago.

this fall, regardless of what happens with grad school or japan, i will continue to teach. if things go as planned i will be able to teach at two places and then jason can stay at home with the boys. this is really important to me. i would gladly work the graveyard shift if i thought that my labor was benefitting the boys. jason has read my montessori books and agrees with the philosophies and methods involved. he's a good stay-at-home dad and as unconventional as it is, i wish that more families had the opportunity to allow the father to stay home. we are attachment parents (to a degree); i breastfed sebastian past his third birthday and will probably do the same with nico. i sleep sandwiched between them (and haven't had a full eight hours in over four years). we are very close. when nico was born, jason was working all the time but this summer he has been home and nico has really become attached to him. he gets so excited when he sees his dad or even hears the key turning in the lock, he crawls madly over to greet and climb up jason's leg. sebastian and jason are naturally close after two full years together. this past year when jason was working, he'd get a bit short-tempered with the kids but when he's here all day with them, on their level, he understands them better.
of course, being home doesn't bring home any bacon but we're mainly vegetarians here anyway. besides, as our rimpoche says, time is not money, time is time. it is precious.

we've decided that it is not time for sebastian to go to school. he was so into it months ago but now he keeps saying he wants to stay home. so again, i'm listening to him. it will be easier to homeschool with one person home full-time and even with me working, i won't get more than 35 hours a week so we'll have more precious time together. throw a little fuel-efficient car in the mix and we are looking at a good year ahead of us. there are plenty of things to do without sending him to pre-school everyday.
it also helps that our landlord is busy cleaning out a garage for the studio. jason will have his own separate space for painting and screenprinting. i'm recruiting my dad to help me make a textile printer: it is a key rail that allows you to attach frames to it and simply print, lift, and slide. brilliant.
i believe we'll still realize our goals of learning japanese and returning to japan but until then we plan to live and live well.

happy weekend.


Anonymous said...

you guys are realising so many wonderful ideas and dreams. good luck with it all.
and, wow! nico is growing so fast! he`s almost a the real fun begins. a toddler and a preschooler in the same house at the same time. endless energy and the fun never ends :)

kayla_d said...

You're right. Jax can be livable, but you have to make an effort to find the bits that make you happy.

Sebastian looks so much like you in the photo of him sideways! Very cute.

Mama said...

I often think about these same things... We're a fairly young family too and don't have the resources some other families do. When I think about what really matters to me in life though, we have all of that to share with our little guy: time to laugh together, all of our necessary needs met so we can comfortably explore the world and come back to the safety of each other. My mom went back to school when we were young and Dad stayed home with us... It taught us a lot. There's something to be said for waiting for and working towards your dreams together. To me that's what a family is.

amisha said...

this is a beautiful post tiffany. it sounds like you guys are such a unit... working together to make a good life. we are hoping that e will be a stay at home dad too one day, at least at the beginning. he's excited about it :)