A month or so ago my uncle turned to me and asked, “Well, are you ready to be a law widow?”

Yes, Chad starts at the big, bad law firm in a month. He’s got a few more weeks of clerking for his justice, and then a week and a half off, and then our lives change significantly.

Speaking of that justice, Chad is camping at the base of the Angel of Shavano tonight with his co-clerk and their interns, while his justice and Chad’s female co-clerk are crashing in a hotel in Buena Vista. Tomorrow all six of them are going to attempt to summit Mount Shavano and, if the going’s good, Tabeguache.

Beyond my jealousy concerning this outing (I have climbed neither Shavano nor Tabeguache, and I WANT TO), Chad is gone for the night. This is the first night I will be alone, a single mommy. So far it hasn’t been too bad — my dad came over and we watched _The Princess Bride_ while I downed some Santiago’s burritos — but I am still awake at 11:05 and Elinor was kind enough to finally fall asleep around 8:45. Ah yes, Chad is a stabilizing influence on this night owl.

I’ve been dreading law widowhood, even though I am very grateful for it. There is no way we’d be able to afford my year at home without Chad’s job there. But Chad has warned me about 80-hour work weeks for years now, and both of us are nervous about how this will affect each of us, our relationship, and little Elinor. On one hand, I’m glad he has the job because the money will be great, and he’s SO bored with clerking at this point (though we both think it’s been an amazing experience). Chad’s itching to begin some real lawyering, even though he knows he’ll be low lawyer on the totem pole. On the other hand, I am so sad. If I didn’t want to stay home with Elinor, maybe he could find a slightly less high-paying job and be around more. I am going to miss him like crazy, and I think Elinor will, too. Then again, at least one of us is able to stay with Elinor this way ….

We will see. I am very careful about telling people that my year off is just that — a year off. Chad and I will see how this law thing goes. If he loves it, then we’ll see how I feel about continuing to stay home. If he hates it, then we will re-assess and I will look for jobs and daycare.

In the meantime, I miss him already, and he’s only gone tonight. I am such a sucker. But I am way more productive when he’s not around, which is both good and bad. 🙂