I remember when my lovely daughter was going through her awful phases (More around age 3) that involved lots of stress and anxiety for the entire family – I remember thinking that it wasn’t fair that the few hours a day I had with her after work were spent disciplining her.
Substitute Wes for Nikki and there was yesterday. My first day back to work in a year and a half. I will normally work until 3pm but this week I’m working until 5pm since I was gone Monday. So…I got off at 5 and then we had to go to a birthday dinner after I picked the kids of from daycare. Wes spent half of that visit in the corner yelling at me for having previously hit me, or maybe scratched me, or maybe yelling at me some more. He did all three often last night.
You imagine your child missing you, running longingly into your embrace and spending the few hours you have with them cuddling or reading or laughing or playing. THIS DOES NOT HAPPEN. Do not be fooled.
But we cuddled at bedtime. We read stories. We sang songs. I got my sweet boy for a little while last night. And that’s something I remember too. Savoring those moments. When you spend all day with your child, you get a lot of those moments. Sometimes – individually – the moments aren’t significant. You enjoy them, but they are not rare so you don’t have to grasp them tightly. You can let go and know you’ll get another one later in the day. Or maybe the next morning. But when you only get a few hours, and most of those hours are spent disciplining bad behavior, those rare moments become gold and you never want to let go. Who knows when you’ll get your next one.
And at the rate we’re going? Staring our evil phase a while year before Nikki did? There’s a chance I won’t see another sweet moment for 18 months.
Anyone want a beer? I know I do.