our whole whole whole whole family

Well, back to school we go, but something is different at our house this fall.

Can you guess what it is?

Daddy is home. All the time!

At least until Thanksgiving.

Yes, David is on what the Brits call gardening leave. He is switching jobs, and part of the job switch requires that he take 90 days off before starting with his new employer.

You read that right. A paid, mandated, 90 day vacation.

We are all very excited about this. It has already enabled things that were never possible when Daddy was never home, such as an impromptu trip to the playground last night after dinner, in lieu of baths. Cooper and Fergus ran wild around the twilight-lit (twilit?) and nearly-deserted Elephant Park. “Guess what, Mommy? Our whole, whole, whole, whole, family is here!” Fergus shouted. He never says anything once that he can say three or four times.

David is enjoying himself immensely. Last night he discovered bluefly.com, and pointed and clicked aimlessly for over an hour. “Why didn’t I know about this?” he bellowed. “I’m upgrading my whole wardrobe.” Then his computer crashed and lost his shopping cart, but even that didn’t dampen his gay spirits. Today he is playing tennis and taking himself out to lunch.

I am a little bit jealous, because I don’t know when my gardening leave will ever come. But I do plan on trying to enjoy some of it with him. As soon as the Mother Load tour kicks off in Charlotte in three weeks. Oh yeah, that.

I have, however, received some meaningful glances and ominous looks from the spouses of other people who have had gardening leave. “How long is he home till?” they say, eyes widened. “Thanksgiving?… Good luck with that.”

So apparently there is a downside. I have already seen one drawback, in the increase of the aforementioned protein-shake puddles on our kitchen countertops. But I’ve already decided that the kitchen elves are ALSO on gardening leave, so David will just have to make other arrangements for cleaning them up.