I. am. so. frustrated.
I wish the Universe (a stand in for whatever you choose) would stop messing with me.
Today we were out on the playground at VBS. The kids were all happy. It was warm and sunny but not too hot. There was a gentle breeze. We had just come from chapel where I got to see a teacher tenderly guide Charlie through his first communion experience. And in that moment I thought I wanted four kids. Really. Me. I know. Another teacher was there, who does have four of the sweetest, most well behaved, adorable kids you could ever imagine. And she seems so happy and free. I wanted to be like her. I wanted it for me and I wanted it for Charlie and Wesley (and James and Mary, my ficticious third and fourth children who will never exist because I will probably have to be institutionalized if I find myself pregnant again).
The rest of the morning was unremarkable until half an hour before dismissal when one little girl screamed angrily at me "I WANT TO GO HOME" and then sat in the middle of the rug sobbing inconsolably for half an hour. I felt for her, I really did. But there was no reasoning with her. And there are thirteen kids. I didn't know what to do. She screamed until her mother came to pick her up. And then two of the boys got into a fight over a bean bag chair. I took the bean bag chair and put it back in its place and shooed the boys to the other side of the room. I turned around to clean some play-doh off a tiny table and one of the boys head-butted me in the butt. I took him by the hand and shooed him away another time, only to have him angrily throw all the trucks off their shelf. Awesome. Yay, let's have two more!
After that magical late-morning experience I got my two knuckleheads loaded into the car and checked my voicemail.
It was Dr. Smarty from the National Lab and he wanted to talk to me about "an opportunity."
I enjoined Charlie to be a "really good quiet boy for just a few minutes" then called Dr. Smarty back. Dr. Smarty asked me what my employment situation was and I told him that I'm looking. He confirmed that I live in South. Then he asked the big one.
"Do you anticipate a move to [state just north of where my friends Michelle and Barack call home] would be possible in the future?"
thud thud thud thud (that's the sound of me smacking my head against the headrest of the car)
"What happened to Mama? You hurt your head on the car?" (that was Charlie)
"Um, no," I replied "I don't anticipate being able to move anytime in the next five years. My husband is involved in the early stages of a project he cares deeply about."
Dr. Smarty sounded disappointed and said that there were "opportunities" he wanted to discuss with me, again. I promised to talk it over with Ryan some more and get back to him if I felt anything could change. He encouraged me to do so.
Exhausted, hungry Charlie whined pitifully the whole way home then fell asleep as I pulled into the garage.
When I started typing I was all fired up about how unfair everything was. That, although it is true that Ryan would move for my job if I asked him to, the practical considerations make it almost impossible. The fact that he has a reliable job that pays for our health insurance and that he enjoys and can be home at six almost every single night is not something to take for granted. We are very lucky that he can support us all allowing me to take care of things here so that our weekends are spent enjoying eachother instead of running errands and taking care of chores. And moving for a job for me is absolutely a bad idea given how willing I would be to quit that job if one of the boys needed me at home for some reason.
I emailed Ryan to tell him about the phone call and rough VBS experience and the pitiful whining from Charlie all the way home. He responded "I really want this for you. How can we make it work?"
And I threw up my hands. Because I have no idea. Now that it is nearly one-hundred degrees in the afternoon here, I could definitely see myself living somewhere else. I miss the change of seasons, I miss sensible city planning, I'd love to take advantage of public transportation.
But the fact remains that a job like the one Dr. Smarty is likely talking about would take a lot more time than I am prepared to give up. Probably. I don't know. Other people manage to make it work all the time. Since my last freakout on here I have been much happier with my new role staying at home than I was (through a combination of refocusing negative thoughts and a serendipitous improvement in Charlie's attitude).
There is no question that it would be a good move professionally. Like flipping the bird to a couple of professors who expressed doubt that I could manage two babies and my research.
I guess the conclusion from all of this is that the National Lab is not the right place for me while Charlie and Wesley are young. What the right place is, I do not know. But there will only be two children involved (with appologies to the two half-cells who might otherwise become James and Mary).