Lately, I’ve had a decent chunk of time where I feel like I’ve been missing the forest for the trees. I’ve been locked into anxieties around trying to conceive vs. foster-to-adopt vs. direct placement adoption. I’ve been agonizing over my career, my earning potential, my cumulative sleep deprivation, and my ovulation patterns. And in all of that, I’ve spent a lot of time “missing it.” I’ve talked my way through dinners where Bram is feeding himself an entire plate of food with his utensils while talking the cat’s ear off. I’ve been floating around in a storm cloud of worry and fear while laying with him the dark having what will likely be some of our last months of night-nursing together. I’ve spent evenings spiraling down the rabbit hole with Renee of “what-if’s” and “it’s just not fair,” all the while missing out on sunsets, date-nights, and opportunities for more spontaneity and intimacy with my lovely bride.
And then there’s been the literal “missing it” of working both a full-time and a part-time job while maintaining other relationships and activities outside of the home. I’m missing developmental explosions, missing time as a family of three, missing sleepy silly mornings that stretch out slowly. I’ve had less control over this kind of missing it, but that doesn’t make it easier to swallow. There are still days that I feel like crying at work because I know I’ll never get this time with toddler-Bram back from today. Fortunately, I’m about to go down to half-time at work next week for the duration of the summer. This translates into four-day weekends every week until September 1st. It may be half the pay, but we don’t need extra money to have fun. Bram can poke things with sticks in the backyard for an hour or more; he can sit and color in his own world for more than twenty minutes at a time; an expensive vacation wouldn’t register as any more fun to him than an afternoon spent watching the big roofing trucks haul dumpsters from the top of the library into waiting dump trucks below (last weekend’s highlight), or playdates spent at dear friends’ homes.
And so I’m writing this post with a kind of resolve. Stop.missing.it. I need to stare at my kid more. I need to stare at my wife more. I need to crawl out of my own navel (ass?) and stop worrying about what could happen six months or six years from now. In my experience, the thing I’m worrying about will never come to fruition and some totally unexpected blessing or challenge (or both) lies just beyond my ability to see. So I might as well settle into how beautiful and hard-fought and loving my present reality is. And just work to be here. So that five (or fifty) years from now, I can’t look back over this period of time and feel regret for the things I missed.
And in the spirit of perspective, here are two photographic gems:
This is the first picture ever taken of Renee and I as a couple (about six years ago). When I think over the last six years about the experiences we’ve had together, and the wisdom and compassion I’ve gained as a result, it’s hard not to be bowled over with love.
And in the direction of pure levity, here’s Bram rocking out his diaper, his John Deere baseball cap (with minimal irony), and his oven mitts, all while standing backwards in his cart. Pure goofy joy <3