I am a college-educated man, I have a few letters behind my name, I have my own business, and I am 40 years old; yet all that means nothing to my 2-year-old son, because he needs his sippy cup filled with more milk.
Breakfast, lunch and dinner, I ask what would you like me to make for you. What would you like to drink with that.
Too hot. Too cold.
Run a bath: Water is too hot. Water is too cold. I want in. I want out.
I don’t like that shirt–too itchy, too blue, too red. I don’t want to wear pants. I want to wear pants, but not those (they are itchy). Ok, those will work.
Like most parents, I am sure, I run from this place to that, put this off for that day’s need. I make sure he has warm meals (while mine are are quick and cold).
If I am downstairs he will want me upstairs. If I am using the restroom, he will want to be in there. When he sleeps, I work. And, when I am done and want to sleep; well, then he is awake and ready for more.
So, why do we do all of these things, how did we lose part of ourselves along the way to being a parent?
For me, it was February 4, 2011. On that afternoon, my life changed forever, as it wasn’t my life anymore. His need outweighed anything I might want or need. Once I saw that face and heard that cry, I knew my life would never be the same, and it was a change for the good.
My title throughout the day may change, from minute-to-minute, but every one of those minutes of being a dad are worth it. My pay for these long hours is dreadful, with no built-in health plan or perks. But, well, that’s not why I do it, and it is an easy decision. I have the love of a little boy, who smiles when he sees me. That is worth more then any amount money I could receive. It makes me richer then Solomon.
“Do something you love and you don’t work a day in your life.” Those words are a blessing and (on some days) also a curse. Like me, I am sure (even knowing everything we know now), you would sign on for this dream job again in a heartbeat–if you were asked, without giving it a thought.
So yeah, I am Alfred, and (like him) I love my job. Isn’t that all we ever really wanted in a career?
I hear running down the hall, coming toward my office. It sounds like I’ll get one of my perks: a hug from my son (combined with a request for some “yogie”).
Back to work.