The salsa was made. 9 cups. The guacamole was created. Maybe 2 cups. It was packed. It was ready. Now all we had to do was get the rest of our stuff: swimsuits, towels, water bottles. We’d have to stop on the way to get ice. But, then, we could play, munch, and build community with my fellow staffers.
“Levi,” I called, “It’s time to go.”
It was only a mere 20 minutes since my husband had left for work. Clifford, via PBS Kids, was humming along on Levi’s computer.
“Come on Levi,” I attempted, again, “We have to get ready.”
Nothing. No noise at all. Was I so engrossed in salsa and guacamole that I didn’t hear… well, something?
I walk to the living room. The computer is humming along with no audience.
I walk around the couch, a foot into the hall, and I turn left.
“Odd”, I thought, “his door is closed.”
So, I open the door. The newly created “fort-bed” was closed. There was silence. I walked over to the fort-bed, and I lifted the cover. There was the boy. He had put himself to bed. He had put himself down for a nap. It was 2:17. We needed to leave now to beat anymore rush hour traffic and visit with staffers for about two hours. This boy was out cold. We were not going to make it.
My colleagues were without salsa and guar, but I will bring it in the office tomorrow. We’ll have a reprise of our “staff fun day.”
It’s these kind of conflicts, though, that boggle my mind. How are we supposed to navigate all of this? All of these responsibilities and ideas of where we should be. Staying focused on multiple goals (multitasking life!) in order to serve all the masters we serve.
I made a choice. Experience has taught me that rested children are happy children. I want to build our home for success, and that means ensuring one’s basic needs are met. Sure, I went without bonding with staff, but my son is more important. I may not be at my job next year, but I do plan on having my son.
Later in the evening, I was validated with my choice. Levi woke up two hours after I caught him napping. After we had a simple dinner, he confided, “I’m in a much better mood.”
“Oh? Were you in a bad mood before?”
He shrugged his shoulders but offered that the nap certainly helped. And, all day he was polite! Pleases and thank yous for nearly everything! He was cuddly and fun to be around. The monetary pay is crap, for being a mother. But, when I can get a Levi hug – life is better.
For more recent reading on the crazy imbalances we subject ourselves to – choosing work over family life, and the strange dichotomy between men and woman, read the following.