This is a sketch of how our week works. Brown travel-times are probably the first thing to notice, as they sandwich our Nelson days. We drive down Sunday evening, and back Monday evening. That gets Sophie there for the start of her week at school. We leave her there, and head back Wednesday afternoon, in time for Fiona to start her end-of-week run of activities. We stay through until Friday evening, when we bring Sophie home for the weekend.
This means Fiona and I spend three nights sleeping on couch and futon in the living room at the Crashpad, and four nights at home. Sophie’s split runs five nights and two. It also means that weekends are kind of precious, being the only days we’re all together as a family. So far weekends have mostly been about bulk cooking and baking, and spending cozy time in the living room in front of the wood stove.
An added complication is how mealtimes are over-run by travel and activities. Run your eyes across the schedule above in our traditional supper-time slot from, say 5:00 to 6:30 pm, and you’ll bump into the dark-green and mustard-yellow stuff that denotes the girls’ scheduled activities every single week-night. It’s crazy: not only are we trying to get food into various combinations of people in two separate towns, but we’re rarely available at the same, or the “correct,” time.
Meal-time and bed-hopping issues aside, what makes this work is that a fair bit has come off my plate. I’m not nearly as involved in music teaching or community volunteering in New Denver as I was in the past. And although it didn’t seem like a big deal, it is very liberating not to be running back and forth from the school in New Denver two to five times a day to drop off and pick up various teenagers (and sometimes Fiona) like I’ve done for the past few years.
I’m also finding that the spareness of the physical space in Nelson, and the spareness of the family schedule at home on weekends, is creating a kind of calm that helps a lot with this disjointed life.
The girls seem happy with their lives. Things aren’t falling apart. So far so good.