This past weekend was the big family festival that Chris’s theater puts on every year. It’s his baby. He and his staff plan it and organize it for months, so when the big weekend finally comes, it is always a welcome celebration.
Summer around our house is a little strange. I am home all summer with the kids, which is a drastic change from teaching all school year with the kids in daycare. I love having this time with them. But being alone with them every day makes it very obvious that Chris’s summer schedule is very different.
Summer for Chris is the busiest time of year. His theater does summer camps all summer long for hundreds of children all over Orlando. This year they expanded and began offering camps in different locations across the city, instead of just being at their main campus. The theater has a really great staff who oversee the camps, so Chris isn’t directly responsible, but they are in his building and being the general manager, he definitely sees an increase in his schedule over the summer. Add to that his other full-time position as production manager (who oversees all elements of production for all the plays) and his job as the facilities manager (which is a massive part of his job, especially because they are in the middle of renovating their entire theater complex one theater at a time), and summer for Chris is a bit of a scheduling nightmare.
He works longer hours, more weekends, and busier days during the summer, which leaves me and the kids without him a lot. It’s frustrating because for the rest of the family, this is our laziest part of the year and we’re ready to take it easy and enjoy each other for a while. It’s a delicate balance, and one that we are getting better at mastering. The first year we were here, I was angry all summer long. But I’ve learned over the past couple years not to make it personal about Chris. I know he is busy and that he has no choice right now. He would rather be with us, and that makes it frustrating for him, too. So, we are learning to just accept that fact that our summers are a bit whacked out, but that we do the best we can to make time as a family.
Naturally, when Chris’s working world collides with our entire family, that makes summer GOLDEN! And that’s what this weekend did for us. It gave Chris a chance to hang out with us and have some fun, while still taking care of work responsibilities. And I was really proud of him, too. I got to see him in action, doing all the things that I hear about at home but never get to see for myself. It reminded me how proud I am of Chris, and what a good provider he is for our family. Especially during the summer, when we only have his income.
Marriage and family is all about balance, and more often than not, I’m finding that the “ideal situation” doesn’t really exist. We change our ideal situation on a daily basis around here. This weekend was ideal. Next weekend, our ideal situation will be sitting on our deck, doing absolutely nothing, and celebrating that summer is coming to a close. Chris is looking forward to a more routine schedule and I think the kids and I are ready to get back into the groove of our school schedule, too. Ideal this week will be a nightmare next week. But that’s how it goes when you’re raising a family, I think. You ebb and flow, you give and take. And at the end of the day, you’re just so thankful to have these people by your side.