Ladyhawke parenting

In the wake of our delayed move to Florida to start a family, we’re now contemplating what that means for our adoption timeline. And one option that is starting to seem more and more plausible is actually staying in New York City, at least in the beginning.

The solution? Ladyhawke parenting. For people who weren’t children or young adults in the 80s, I’ll explain.

Ladyhawke was a 1985 film starring Matthew Broderick, Rutger Hauer, and Michelle Pfeiffer. It’s a fantasy movie in which a young couple is in love, but is cursed to transform into animals in order to keep them apart. Hauer’s character transforms into a wolf at night, and Pfeiffer’s character transforms into a hawk during the day. The only time they’re in human form together is briefly at dusk and at dawn, when they’re both transforming.

It’s a better movie than you might expect.

So how does this relate to Sal and me?  Well, now that he’s resuming work at a bar, for several nights each week we have a strange schedule swap happening: right about the time that I finish work for the day, he’s getting ready to go to work. And he gets home from work and goes to sleep at dawn, right before I get up to begin my day. On those days, we have brief windows of overlap at dusk and again at dawn, but otherwise we’re apart for the whole day.

Thinking about our plan to start a family in Florida, it’s important to remember that a major advantage is that we could afford for Sal to be a stay-at-home dad for the first few years until our child is old enough to go to school. In NYC, we definitely couldn’t afford that, not without a major pay raise for me (which is unlikely). That’s why we have been skeptical about the idea of starting a family here, because we couldn’t afford for him to stay home… but now, with this new routine that we’re in, we’re starting to see how it might work after all.

On days where we both work, I could work my job while Sal takes care of our kid… and then when I come home after work, Sal would go into work and leave me at home with our kid. (Admittedly, I would likely get the easy end of that trade, as theoretically I’d be coming home for dinner, bath, and bedtime.) It’s not ideal, and it wouldn’t leave us as much time together as we would prefer… but then, since when as parenting been about parents’ preferences?

Clearly, plenty of people raise kids in New York City. It’s certainly possible… It’s just a question of how we could make it work. And of course, we could always just start things here and decide whether/when to relocate to Florida later, for all of the original reasons that prompted the idea in the first place.

Either way, it’s encouraging to have options to consider.

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