Monday, March 23, 2009

The Great Virus Fight

I'm feeling better. The kids are feeling a bit better. I think J is just getting sick. But hopefully, we're through the worst of this round of illness. During this past quarter, I got sick twice. And both times, they were probably the worst illnesses I have ever had. It was bizarre. I'm used to being sick, working with kids; it's a rare day someone doesn't shove a hand in my mouth. (Not very many G-rated jobs where that is a problem.)

This year is particularly bad, since parents recently think nothing of bringing an extremely ill child to a room filled with other people. If my kids are sick, they stay home. One of us figures out a way to make it work, for the day or two until they get better. But this and other parenting differences are what has driven me away from this job, so I don't feel inclined to have a big discussion about it with the parents.

J and I are feeling the approach of spring. We're reaching another build-up in our quarterly, "Where do we go from here?" discussion. J is thinking of jobs and residencies, and I'm thinking of locations. We can never decide anything, of course, but it's important that the cycle continues. It's like cherry blossoms in April; if the Barker's haven't begun The Talk, the world isn't turning.

I don't care what I do, as usual. I have the portable, low pay kind of career that I can do anywhere. (When people find out I'm a native English speaker without a criminal record who wants to take care of toddlers, they jump in line. There are precious few of us left.) I just want the place to excite me. It can be beautiful, or have big city amenities, or a nice feel, or some or all of the above. I'm not concerned. I just need that spark. I only think in emotional terms. This frequently leads to the discussions ending with J and I's favorite Simpsons exchange.

Marge: You don't need to join a traveling freak show just because the opportunity arose!
Homer: You know, in some ways you and I are very different people.

One way or another, the next six months are going to sort it all out. I may be irrational to a fault, but I do have bills to pay and kids to feed. Viri has dragons to fight, Arkaedi Sue has songs to sing. My responsibilities are there, and I'll get them done. There was a day when the end of a job or a school meant something random. Now it means something that can get our bills paid while we still have a rewarding project to work on.

Unless I could talk J into moving to Europe...

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