There was one I have remembered, however, and it's a good thing. It came in to great use last week:
It's up to you.
While that may look like a simplistic phrase, I assure you it isn't. It came with a tone and finality that made me stop and consider what it was I was about to decide. Perhaps it was because my parents were card-carrying control freaks, but for a phrase like that to be laid out made me feel as though I was being dealt the draw card while holding four parts of a Royal Flush. I was forced to consider the consequences right alongside the successes of my decision-making.
When I went home last month, my 2-week visit turned out to be about a week and a half too long. The second evening I was there I crashed my old Book Club. I could hardly stand to leave, but a girl has got to get her beauty sleep (those wrinkles aren't going to reverse themselves, despite the many benefits of the Lifestyle Lift). That night was followed by several others (thanks to my mom who made good on her annual Christmas gift of unlimited free babysitting) with really good friends. The kind of friends made over years of trials and triumphs, not to be taken lightly and mourned over when lost. Really good friends. And let me say, I miss them. So much.
David works really, really hard. He has experienced massive turnover, is going into his busy season, and is responsible for the guest experience at a hotel that has some i--i--issues. Good thing he's good at what he does, and is willing to dig in and git 'er done. So I didn't tell him about my epiphany-slash-meltdown. And we communicate about everything. Four days later and two glasses of wine into a late evening, I broke the silence. I said it once -- that's all it took.
There is exactly 1 position available in the Central Oregon area in hospitality management. My amazing husband had an interview for the position last week and they all but offered him the job. Problem is, it was a steep pay cut (steeeeeep, people--like Everest steep), and not enough to keep me home with the kids. So we began formulating. First we cut back. Then, my mom watching the kids one day a week while I work. Plus not save...anything. Plus no preschool, gymnastics, soccer or any extras for the kids. And while we can cut and trim, we draw the line at the kids. Which is where we realized putting me back to work had already crossed the line.
So David did what he always does in a crisis. He takes the reigns and makes the decision that we both know has to be made, but never will be if we continue manipulating the what-ifs. He respectfully declined the opportunity and focused back into his job of managing a circus of monkeys. Then he came home and told me.
We could be packing our bags and moving to Bend right now. We could be slipping back into the comfortable throws of good friends, comfortable routines and a town of angled parking (I loathe parallel parking this week, and no--I'm not saying why). We could be making plans, reconnections. And what's odd that instead of being sad I'm effortlessly relieved. We considered the consequences and successes, and it just wasn't worth it.
I look at Emily and wonder where my baby went. I squeezed Ethan today at least 34 times wishing he'd stay a baby forever. I struggle every day with redefining the image of the stay-at-home-mom into a bright, driven, capable woman who chooses to make her home her place of business. A SAHM is not better or worse than the working Mom. But if there is a way for David and I to afford ourselves the opportunity to make that choice, then we certainly aren't going to squander it. Even if it means not moving home.