A Father’s Lament- Go Back To School
Most of the time I love having a home office. I have the best commute in the world. I roll out of bed, walk down the hall and sit down at my desk. As the computer boots up I make a bowl of oatmeal, grab a cup of coffee and look at my list of things to do.
As I sip my coffee I check my messages to see if there are any pressing issues. When needed I act as a fireman and jump on whatever needs to be handled. Most of the time the fires are few and far between so I grab my oatmeal and start reading/writing contracts, proposals or what have you.
Scattered in amongst all this are brief interruptions in which the kids come by to ask questions and or hug/kiss me goodbye. It is only once they are all out the door that the day really gets moving. That is not to say that I don’t get things done prior to their departure, but some things require more focus so I don’t deal with them unless I have quiet.
Summer vacation screws that all up. There I said it and yes I mean it.Â Summer vacation wrecks my home office and sends my plans every which way. The worst part of it is that sometimes it turns me into a crazy monster.
The children see me and want to come talk/play with me. They understand that I am working, but can’t help themselves. “Dad, look at this,” “abba, can you get this open for me,” “I am hungry……….” In short they act like normal kids and I can’t fault them for it. But I can’t half ass this stuff or things get screwed up and clients get irritated.
So I start to become short and ask them to go talk to their mother. Sometimes I see them heading my direction and I start telling them to go away before they get close, even though they haven’t said anything to me. I feel badly about all this. It bothers me a lot, but there are things that I can’t get around.
At the moment we live in a house that is modest, but there is no office that I can hide in. I am exposed and they all forget that laughter on my part doesn’t indicate that I am done working or on a break. They can’t be completely faulted or blamed for this.
And I can’t make the kids understand that part of why I get so crazed is that I am killing myself for them. I am working hard to build something that won’t require as much time later on. I am doing it all for the family and for the selfish reason of hoping to be able to retire one day.
Oy, it makes my head hurt sometimes. So children, don’t take this the wrong way. Don’t think that I don’t love you or that I don’t like spending time with you. But I can’t wait until you go back to school and I have some peace and quiet again.