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Tuesday, June 30, 2015

A Couple’s Day

Love, Trust. Appreciation, and Mutual Admiration

Imagine if you will what a normal day might be like in well-adjusted married couple’s life.  First allow me to set up some background.  We are not much different than any other couple, but how we live our partnership (married life) may well be as different as day and night from anyone else. 

As an example of love, trust and sharing, only one of us worked while the other raised the children (to middle school age).  This was a choice that included some unspoken sacrifices.  I can’t remember a time when we didn’t have our needs met (shelter, utilities, food, clothing, transportation, basic entertainment, etc.).  We even managed a getaway (budget) vacation.  While the kids were growing up we managed to treat them to a vacation in Southern California (Disney, Universal Studios, and Knott’s Berry Farm) every other year.  It wasn’t affordable, but we made it a priority because we the parents had been raised without vacations.  As a sacrifice we didn’t buy a new car as often as we might have liked.  As a couple we seldom ate out or went to a movie.  Besides the job, we operated a business that kept us busier than we wanted to be.  When we married and decided to raise a family we gave up “our life” attitude and exchanged it for the family’s life with emphasis on the children.  The children are all grown up, with children of their own.  They are all healthy and happy.

Back to the future, and a typical day.  The alarm goes off at 5:15 am.  We both start working by 7 am.  Breaks have to be purposely taken because the pace all day long is fast and furious (wouldn’t have it any other way).  My title is Grandpa, Activity Director numerous responsibilities fall under that title.  Since early retirement a few years back, I handle approximately 75 percent of the grandchildren’s oversight during the day.  Chauffeur, chef, nutritionist, wardrobe supervisor, Entertainment director, Summer school teacher, and Director of Purchasing (in charge of laundry and dish washing).  Whatever the children want, I’m the go to guy. 
Activity Center

With the time that’s left I operate the family business.  The family business pays handsomely, but the other job has a value of love and appreciation that couldn’t be matched with monetary compensation.  If I was forced to give up one of the things that I do, it wouldn’t be a contest at all.  I will assist with my grandchildren for as long as my participation adds value to their little lives.  My wife comes home from a fast paced corporate job, sometimes stressed most often not so much.  Her duties include over seeing personnel, policies, and budgets, and while she enjoys it, I know that she would trade with me in a minute.

She has done both jobs, the first, while raising our children, and now she is enjoying her career.  I have done the corporate gig most of my life, and now I do what she did only with the grandchildren.  I never for a minute thought she had the easier job back then, and now I know that to do it right requires many skills, and lots of patience.  Having shared the experiences gives us a better understanding and appreciation for each other.
Peace and quiet at last

I don’t mind being a kept man.  We both contribute on the financial front, but for now she is the designated bread winner, and I appreciate her and miss her during the day.  She often will text me during the day to tell me that I am the greatest grandpa in the world,  At the end of her day she will come home and invite me to go out for dinner, entertainment or just a drive.  She knows what a day is like at home with all those super energetic little granddaughters.

I’ve had numerous job offers to return to the workforce, but money won’t buy me away from my present position.  Besides, I’ve been as high as CEO of a corporation, how could they possibly top Grandpa, Activity Director?  The best is yet to come…………

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