Doubt and the Boy
Doubt. Self doubt. It’s so hard to keep everything in order and prioritized – so hard to know if you’re doing the right thing or keeping the right things in focus. I am proud that I was able to find opportunity out of what could have been a loss of self and identity – to find personal and professional growth, and to have an opportunity of a lifetime to build a relationship with my son at a young time in his life.
I have a job I couldn’t love more, something that speaks to everything I’ve wanted my professional life to be. I wonder, though, if in pursuing professional excellence, I’m compromising what I have built with my son.
I was away for a couple of days last week. The night before I was leaving, he was anxious and couldn’t sleep. I left before he awoke the next morning, I came home after he was asleep and wasn’t awake when he went to school. I was gone for two days but it must’ve felt like all week to him. I picked him up at school that day and he gave me a huge hug. We spent the weekend hanging around – haircuts, video games, snuggled on the couch. But then there are the times he just “wants to be alone.” I’m exhausted from the traveling, and actually take a midday nap – from which he wakes me up, just wanting to play, but I’m just not up to it.
I’m conflicted because I have more time with him than I ever would with a more traditional job, but not as much as I used to have and sometimes, like this past week, I have big chunks of time when I’m not available to him. It makes me sad to be so happy with the direction of my professional life while experiencing this readjustment. He’s used to his Dad being a “stay at home” dad, a student and available to him all the time.
This summer will be my first on this new job, and it will be one of the busy times of the year. For two summers he and I had all that time for each other, and now it will likely be the polar opposite. I’m trying to figure out a way to include him in my scheduling plans – hoping to be able to take him to some places he may not have otherwise have seen, but to him it will not be the same summers he’s become used to. We both have had a gift, he just doesn’t know how much a gift it has been and I worry that I didn’t take full advantage of it or that I will lose what we had.
I’m writing this at 1 in the morning, because I can’t sleep…probably because I took that nap earlier, and as such the cycle will likely repeat itself – he’ll be up when I’m not and I’ll be grumpy when I do get up because I’m tired and then I’ll feel guilty about it. And then my week will start again with more time away. So, I’ll now go to bed, and when I get up I’ll make the conscious decision not to be grumpy. I hope I pull it off, because I don’t want to let this slip – it’s far too important.