Fatherhood 12/15/2016

I get home too late these days to enjoy time with Emerson, my son. On top of that, this week a stubborn cold and its goonies, runny nose and sore throat, kept me away from the bedroom where my son and girlfriend sleep. Instead of my bed and the warmth of my family, I slept on a sofa in the cold living room. The windows above the sofa allow a constant flow of cold air into the house. Tonight I wondered to myself: is it worth it?

My alarm rings without fail at 8:00am every morning. I spend the first 30 minutes of my day cleaning up a blog post I fell asleep working on the night prior. Some mornings I scour Facebook and Reddit for a jolt of amusement in hopes of a motivating push out of bed and into reality.

Either way, I’m usually running late.

I work, and I try to work hard. My efforts aren’t always actualized into a completely productive work day; most of my friends already know that. Lately I’ve been trying to be honest with my productivity: clock out when energy levels have been depleted and take a breather — clock back in when I muster up the wherewithal to grind out good work. Good work tends to be subjective.

I walk through my garage door around 8:00pm or 10:00pm depending on my abilities 40–60 minutes prior. Can I focus? Can I stay seated? Can I look at another spreadsheet and add enough information for it to be useful? Can I get past how I feel and get onto what needs to be done? When I can’t, I have to pack up my things and leave.

When I arrive home early enough, Andrea and I eat dinner together. Last night, we spent a lot of time talking. Some good, some bad, but we talked about things we’ve needed to for a while. I didn’t write yesterday because we talked, and I ended up falling asleep around 2:30am.

Tonight, I spent the night out at a company dinner with my company of friends. After drinks, steak dinner, presents, and an empty bar, I made it home at 1:00am.

I left the house lights off and carefully walked upstairs. Navigating the barely visible hallway to the room where my girlfriend and son sleep was easy since it’s a straight shot down. I opened the door, set my things down, and got ready for bed. Andrea put out extra clothes in the bathroom for me; I changed without showering because of the cold. After the bedtime bathroom routine of washing my face and brushing my teeth, I crept back into the room where my son and girlfriend slept.

Here I wondered the question as the sores and aches of the day caught up to my bones and joints: is it worth it?

In the dark of the room where only the secondary light snuck in from the lit bathroom in the hall, I looked at my son sprawled out on his co-sleeper, arms raised above his head, sound asleep. I stayed a while wishing I could reach out and touch the hairs on his head or feel the softness of his cheeks. Since I could not, I stayed instead a moment longer.

Isn’t it?