Wednesday, October 14, 2015

When Your Day Starts With Crying

Some days are harder than others.

It's not always a smooth operation getting out the door. I get our 7-year-old on the bus and then drive 50 minutes to work. My wife takes our 4-year-old to preschool on the way to her 15 minute ride to work. There are fundamental things to remember: are the lunches in their backpacks? Have they brushed their teeth? Does our 7-year-old have clothes for gym? My wife might ask me "How do these shoes look?" and I might ask her "Does this shirt look stupid?"

On Tuesday and Thursday mornings we try to do a twenty minute workout in our basement before we make sure the kids are ready for school. It's twenty minutes with Denise Austin or Jillian Michaels. It's a good feeling to get a workout in and everybody out the door without incident.

Today was not a smooth morning. Our 4-year-old was crying before school. Some days he's cool about going to school. But there are days he cries, and this day he cried a lot. It's horrible to wipe tears off the face of your 4-year-old before he leaves for school. It's not even 8:00 in the morning and there are tears. Lots of them. What's the rest of the day going to be like? How can you concentrate at work knowing your child was so upset before the day even really began? You know there are days like this because you had the same kind of days when your 7-year-old was a 4-year-old. But it doesn't make days like this any easier.

There have been many times when my wife has said she doesn't feel great at work or at home. It's a day like this when we both feel that way. You're torn between work and home. You're not fully "present" at either place. Your priority is your children but there are bills to pay. No shit, Sherlock, right? I have no self-help message to peddle or sage advice to offer. I'm just expressing the reality of a lousy day and the challenge of going on with your business as if your day didn't start in such a shitty way. My wife will manage to be the best social worker she can be today. I'll head into the classroom in twenty minutes and try to teach three good classes today. But on a day like this, we just want to get home, have our family together, and see our kids smiling.

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