I had been in New York for the day pitching Springboard Fund.
Our 13 yr-old Miranda had just arrived home from Nature's Classroom.
And our 17 yr-old son David was just home from prom.
The three of us were hanging out: Miranda watching Japanese anime, David sending/receiving post-prom texts and checking Facebook, and me reading Anna Quindlen's Lots of Candles and Plenty of Cake — we occasionally chatted.
I was happy, content even.
These days, I feel more engaged with my husband and children than I ever have. Now that I work from home when I'm not on the road, we certainly see each other more. But it's more than that; I'm emotionally here more. Which is good, but I am also feeling some pain because our son will leave on a 2 year mission in about a year. Why couldn't I have been different when he was younger?
In this miasma of feelings, I went for the cheap shot — blame the emotional distance on my career. Amongst some of my peers, this would be a socially acceptable scapegoat. Except that it wouldn't be true. Both my husband and I have felt — in that deep place — that my career was the right decision for our family. Not to mention, I know lots of men and women who work long and hard at work AND are deeply engaged with their children, while some are miles away even when they're home.
In short, I feel like I've cheated my children. Maybe no child ever gets the parents they deserve. But can I make reparations?
The biblical prophet Joshua (remember the one who fought the battle of Jericho and the “walls came tumbling down”) said “Choose ye this day whom ye will serve.” I've always interpreted this to mean — decide today. Definitively. That forevermore you will serve God. I think it does. But given my current hourly struggle to cut down on sugar because I am pre pre-diabetic, I also wonder if this means: I don't know if have the wherewithal to serve God, or not eat sugar, tomorrow. But today, I just may have the fortitude to pull it off.
I can't parent better yesterday. And tomorrow, I have no idea how I'll do.
What thing is so hard for you that if you can do it today it will be a victory?