Friday, June 22, 2007

The haunting

I've gone on a great lengths about the intelligence and wonder of Dear Alex, to the point that I'm almost sick of writing about it myself (hence the sparseness of postings of late), but more and more of late Dear Alex will do or say something that completely surprises me, and gives me a clue that this being a father/parent thing - while rich and rewarding - will also have moments that truly humble me and break my heart.

On Wednesday morning of this past week, we had the usual bustle of getting Dear Alex up and Beautiful Wife dressed and out the door, and for some reason on this day I was moving a little slower - BW got out the door first after nanny J. arrived, and I did my usual walking back and forth gathering things and finding wallet, keys, phone, computer accessories, etc. . The kid was a little on edge anyways, asking for "mommy, mommy, mommmmmmy", and accepted only sketchily that "mommy went to work". That was okay, more or less, but Dear Alex saw my briefcase - "daddy work, daddy work" - and me getting ready to go, and she kind of lost it, and came out with the line that's haunted me for days: "Daddy (snuff) work Alex crying daddy (snuff) work Alex (sniff, sniff) crying". It stopped me in my tracks: Daddy work = Alex crying.

Yeah, I guess she wanted me to stay and play with her for a while, but I had some storyboards that needed finishing, and a print ad to revise and I was already late - and what's a daddy to do?
I had to go, and had to hand this beautiful child off to Dear nanny J. despite my desire to stay and hold her and comfort her and let her know that there was nothing else in the world that I would rather be or do than be her daddy always, now and forever and that I'd never leave her.

Guess what? I left. The ugly reality of life is such that I did indeed have to go to work, and unless I hit lotto big time that's not likely to change...

I wondered and wished for the longest time that Dear Alex could tell us what was bothering her when she was upset by something, and I guess my wish came true, but the first instance of her new associative skills really got to me - I've been thinking about it for days, in fact. It turns out that all was just fine when I got home, and we haven't had a repeat of that particular complaint, but I know now that I do wish I could spend more than the the three or so waking hours a day that we do have together. It all counts, and I do try to make the most of it, as does BW. I wish it weren't so hard, and I wish we could make every day a Saturday.

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