January 22, 2007

Every leap begins with a step

Or, if done incorrectly, every leap can be the result of an attempt to convert a stumble into a jump in the hopes of landing safely on your feet and, if lucky, with some small amount of grace. But here's the thing about leaping or jumping; I'm afraid of heights.

I'm deathly afraid of heights. I have probably written about that before. I cannot go to the edge and I dislike even thinking about it.

So, sea level is probably a safe place for me. I spent some time, a couple of hours, at sea level on Sunday all by myself. The kids did not want to come with me to walk on the beach in below 30 degree weather. I went to hunt sea glass or beach glass. Sea glass is a piece of glass, usually from a broken bottle, that has been tumbled about in the ocean where the movement tends to polish the edges and make it smooth to the touch. I wanted it either to put in a glass filled jar on the kitchen window sill where it would sparkle when the sun hits it or to glue on to picture frames as decoration along with some shells.

It is awfully peaceful to walk slowly along the winter beach. There are few people and they are mostly solitary types. The wind was blowing and the waves were gently slapping at irregular intervals against the sand. It smelled desolate but the cries of the sea birds gave lie to that impression. There were shells everywhere, the discarded former homes of sea creatures who had no further use for them. The shells crackled under foot as I kept my eyes peeled for the tell tale gleam of sea glass shards. It was terribly cold.

But I was not feeling the cold much. No, I was too involved with taking counsel of my own fears. We are resolved that my wife is going to leave her job to take care of the kids and the consummation of this resolution is fast approaching, brought about by shaken confidence in the ability of the nanny to provide safe supervision of the children. I had run the numbers before and, assuming nothing changes too badly, we can afford to take the income hit for at least a year before she would have to go back to work, again, assuming that other plans do not come to fruition as we are so devoutly hoping/praying. That is what I tried to tell myself, as I contemplated being the sole income source for my family. I tried to tell myself that I could swing this, that I had run the numbers before and I had done that exercise with full theoretical detachment. That exercise, even if it was done as a back of the envelope scrawl, is something that I have been carrying around in my bag like some sort of talisman I can use to ward off evil thoughts and fears. I reminded myself, while slowly pacing next to the water, to trust my dispassionate analysis. That was a comforting thought.

I needed some comfort, I decided. It felt too much like events were rushing towards us, that our leap into the unknown was about to begin with a stumble and not with a considered and confident stride forward into the future. And I don't like heights to begin with, you see.

We did not fire the nanny on Sunday night. Instead, in the kindest way, I told her of our unhappiness with the job performance and our unhappiness with some decisions she had made. I asked her to go away and reflect on how to either restore our trust or help us to figure out a transition so that we could part as friends. I have given up trying to guess what her decision will be; I am simply trying to plan for either eventuality.

I cannot envision how our lives are going to change as a result of this decision. It feels like the right thing to do for the children, though. I hope I can remain flexible enough to keep my balance as we stumble forward. It would be too much to hope that it looks graceful.

Posted by Random Penseur at January 22, 2007 09:43 AM | TrackBack

It seems like you handle most things gracefully, RP, so I have every confidence in your upcoming transition. Thanks for a lovely post!

Posted by: grammarqueen at January 22, 2007 12:30 PM

Always impressed by your courage RP. We are all pulling for you. I have a good feeling, it's all going to work out for the best.

Posted by: Wicked H at January 23, 2007 07:13 AM

Before you get lost with everything else, did you find any sea glass?

I'm sure you'll do just fine: you're both utterly capable of handling whatever life throws at your with the utmost dignity.

Posted by: Hannah at January 23, 2007 02:08 PM

You're wondering about grace when instead of firing the nanny you asked her to have some accountability and choice? My friend...you have nothing to worry about. You'll be well taken care of because you're working from your heart.

Posted by: Linda at January 24, 2007 10:46 AM

Brand name spanking new Oakleys for 50Percentage, 40Percentage, or 30Percentage the expense of any local retail store dealership or the kept Oakley look!

Posted by: Sizemore at January 23, 2013 03:45 AM
Post a comment

Remember personal info?