White Dog and the rest of the White Dog Army have a double whammy this week. It is Steve's return to work after a week of vacation, home with us almost all of the time, AND it is the start of a new quarter with its new schedule.
Changes in routine are always hard. And late night classes add a stress to every one as we wait until after 11pm to see him. Ferguson has a particularly tough time, especially when Steve has back-to-back late nights.
We face such a combo on Monday and Tuesday. It was a challenge tonight to remain patient and to keep the faith that dad WOULD return. But he did, a trifle early because first sessions are often like that, but with the news that this was a huge class of entry level students. This means the likelihood is that he will not be leaving early in the future...in fact, he probably will be detained by students lingering with questions or wanting to talk with him. NOT what we wanted to hear as the clock approaches midnight.
The good news for the White Dogs is that we actually have an entire weekend...both Saturdays and Sundays...to be together and enjoy the season's slide into cooler weather and autumn. The bad news is that we lose our Friday nights to a third late night class.
"Who wants to take a class that meets until 11pm on a FRIDAY?" White Dog wanted to know. "Don't those kids have dates and concerts to go to and fun stuff?"
The reality is that many of Steve's students work full time jobs and they probably prefer a night class that is not mid-week. The school tries to accommodate their student demographic as best they can. Consequently there are fewer and fewer day classes offered and more and more night ones.
"Oh my dog," Fergus whined, "I hope that doesn't mean dad will soon have to work all night!" Steve reassured him that he need not worry and that his boy should always know dad would be home and spend time with him.
The WDA holds tight to those thoughts but the last 90 minutes are always so hard. When the phone rings they know it is Steve calling to say he is on his way home and they line up to watch for him. Bedlam breaks loose as he comes through the door...a release of fear into a jubilant welcome.