A tree straddles the property line between our driveway and my neighbor’s yard. This tree belongs to my neighbor, but a significant portion of its branches hang over our yard.
Each year about this time, I begin to notice thousands of tiny pink petals blowing around the neighborhood. Dozens of them land on my black car where they remain until a high powered spray nozzle can remove them.
For the past five years we’ve lived in this home I’ve considered this sign of spring little more than an annoyance. On more than one occasion I’ve thought about retrieving my gas blower and aiming it towards the branches to hasten the job the Seattle breeze normally takes care of.
Since my position at work ended, I’ve spent my days working on projects from home. For the past five years, I’ve spend at least two hours of my day commuting to and from work. Tomorrow morning I’ll roll out of bed, see my children off to school before I settle in at my computer and begin working. No recurring meetings. No co-workers stopping by to chat about the Mariners. No manager rubbing his back against the frame of my door like this bear.
I get more done in two hours at home than I do in eight at the office.
The best part about working from home has been the extra time I’ve spent with my kids. Getting the kids ready and off to school has always fallen to Kim, and she enjoys that time with them. I’ve zipped backpacks, toasted bagels, and helped steer one daughter away from outfits that might lead her teacher to believe she’s auditioning for the Jersey Shore.
This past week, I tossed the football with my son and kicked the soccer ball around the neighborhood with my daughters. The kids aren’t used to having me around when they return from school, and it took a few days for them to invite me into that part of their day.
I know it won’t be long before I’m back at a traditional job. I won’t be waiting when my youngest son steps off the bus from pre-school, points to his backpack and tells me he has homework. I won’t feel the house shake as my three oldest dash up the stairs to share what happened at school, but not before complaining how they are going to die if they don’t get a snack.
I’ll miss the noise, chatter and overall chaos of it all.
On Friday, as my son tossed, kicked and yelled at the football, I noticed those pink petals floating around us. I swatted a few away but not before a couple landed on my shoulder. But this time I felt more peace than annoyed.
I may even look forward to them next year as a reminder of the Spring I was able to peek into a slice of my children’s lives I’m not normally part of.
And for that I feel blessed.