Life as I know it: No time like the present for patience and flexibility | News

I couldn’t have been prouder last week when my oldest child told me that he and his wife are now Record-Eagle subscribers. They were recently married, had their resources pooled in a house in Traverse City, and felt it would be worth getting local news from their most trusted source. (I added the last little part because I can do that.)

A few days later, while talking to our daughter, we mentioned what Steve and Claire were doing and offered her and her husband to pay the subscription fee if they wanted.

“I don’t have time to read the newspaper in the morning.”

“Well, read it in the evening.”

“I don’t have time either.”

We totally understood what she said. Both Shannah and her husband, Chad, work full-time, not to mention the parents of a 5-year-old and a soon-to-be 2-year-old. What this means is that I couldn’t throw in my faithful line of taking time to do the things you think are important, let alone being able to read your father’s column without me having to forward her a link.

This morning, three days away from Thanksgiving Day, my daughter, me, and the record eagle’s Venn diagram overlapped again. When I read Matt McCauley’s article titled “We’re From Working Mothers,” my phone rang with an incoming text message.

As if repeating his column, our daughter got caught in the crosshairs of a dilemma where a daycare provider was tested COVID positive and had to figure out what to do with her youngest.

The solution to the dilemma would include us.

My wife and I are lucky.

“Happiness” is actually a vile word for who we are. We’re at a point in life that neither of us is working on unless we want to. Since the birth of her 5-year-old, we have been able to lend a hand in the daycare if necessary. We have reserved a few days a week for this and can do our utmost in emergencies. So many of our friends are either still working or too many miles apart to get the opportunity, so I think “happy” might be the word I’m looking for.

So we’re rearranging the schedules. It’s early December and the golf course is covered in snow and I’m pretty flexible aside from my substitute teacher gigs. My wife has a routine that she likes to keep, but she is flexible when her grandchildren are involved.

But Mr. McCauley is right; Understanding, patience and adaptability – not politics – will ultimately be required to provide the best work-life balance offer. If it were possible to fix a solution, that would be great, but not good so far. But at some point in the near future we will have to resolve this.

I saw my mother taking care of her mother. Trips from her home in Empire to the long-term care facility in Northport were more than a weekly occurrence.

I saw my wife do the same to her mother. If the keyboard had voice recognition for accessing the pavilions, it would surely recognize the sound of their despair over the years.

We don’t want to plan the fate of others, but given current trends, it would be unwise and unfair to expect our daughter to follow these examples if she doesn’t even have the time to read the paper now.

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