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Growing Up

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by Italian_Stallion, Dec 10, 2007.

  1. Italian_Stallion

    Italian_Stallion Active Member

    I've always been a fairly sentimental guy when it comes to growing up. I often yearn to be back in my teen years. I'm not sure I'd care to change a thing. I just wish I was still young and full of life. I remember having these ridiculously Utopian ideals about how I'd set out to change the world.

    In any case, I'm likely to shed a tear if the right movie or right song starts playing. It doesn't even have to be a sad movie, just something that reminds me what it was like to be 14, popping wheelies outside the movie theater on a warm summer night.

    I still think of myself as a young guy. So much so, in fact, that I often startle myself when I realize that I'm older than some high school principals, some football coaches.

    But I'm not so naive that I failed to see the treasure in spending the last two years working from home with my two children. I've cherished it every day. Now, though, I'm on the verge of landing a full-time job, one that will take me away from my family for eight hours every day. I was just thinking that it's going to be a tough transition. I mean, I've been there with my daughter almost every day since she was born.

    Then it occurred to me that there's nothing I can do to stop change. My kids aren't even going to be at home that much longer. My son starts kindergarten in the fall, and his sister will join him two years later.

    Now I find myself just terribly upset about this. I like my kids as they are. I don't want them to grow older. I just wish I could freeze this month and make it last forever.
  2. poindexter

    poindexter Well-Known Member

    Holy shit, they are four and two right now. You've got a couple more years with them.
  3. TheSportsPredictor

    TheSportsPredictor Well-Known Member

    Let me tell you something you already know. The world ain't all sunshine and rainbows. It is a very mean and nasty place and it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain't how hard you hit; it's about how hard you can get hit, and keep moving forward. How much you can take, and keep moving forward. That's how winning is done. Now, if you know what you're worth, then go out and get what you're worth. But you gotta be willing to take the hit, and not pointing fingers saying you ain't where you are because of him, or her, or anybody. Cowards do that and that ain't you. You're better than that!
  4. Italian_Stallion

    Italian_Stallion Active Member

    I've had the hours of 7 a.m. until 4 p.m. with them for the past two years. Now that they're about ready to start school, that time will be cut by 75 percent or more.
  5. outofplace

    outofplace Well-Known Member

    That's really the killer with this business and all the night hours. Mrs. OOP and I had some very long discussions about my career and what it meant to our family when we were discussing having children. Unfortunately, there is no easy answer. This business is rough on families sometimes.
  6. Rosie

    Rosie Active Member

    IS, instead of moping with melancholy thoughts, you need to realize how blessed you've been to be able to spend all that time with your children when they're so young. You say you do, but the rest of your post doesn't really reflect that. You need to enjoy each moment with your children as they grow, rather than wish you could freeze time. Each year -- each growing stage -- brings new joys and tough challenges. Wishing for something that can never be is a futile waste of time. If you think time is flying right now, wait till your kids become teenagers (or, according to my mother, married with children of their own.) Is it really worth pining for the past at the risk of missing the adventure at hand?

    You're going to be gone eight hours working a full-time job? Then make evening hours special family time. Make weekends into family time. Talk to your employers about flex time. There are lots of parents out there who wish they had your problem as their jobs take them away for days, weeks or months at a time.
  7. Songbird

    Songbird Well-Known Member

    Attack the world with vigor. You're not 14 anymore. Yes, memories are great to cherish, but you'll be 48 and wondering where it all went, bitter you let life pass you by. Don't take this the wrong way by any means, but you sound like my best friend, who is married to a good woman and has 2 daughters. He keeps wanting to live in the past when his wonderful present is right in front of his eyes. What he's looking for I don't know.

    Joey Lauren Adams had a fantastic line in "The Pros and Cons of Breathing" ... "If you have one leg in tomorrow and one leg in yesterday, you're pissing all over today."

    Bottom line: You'll be fine. Kids grow up. So do adults.

    Attack life with vigor.
  8. Lugnuts

    Lugnuts Well-Known Member


    Your post was very moving and reminds me of a great article I read by an award-winning New York Times correspondent who quit his job to be a stay-at-home dad to his new daughter. The name escapes me... is there a Charlie LeDuff? Anyway, I'll try to find the link. In the article, he acknowledges he'll eventually go back to work outside the home, just as you are doing.

    Think of this.

    There is so much tragedy in the world -- horrible situations involving children. Situations as a result of a child not getting off to the proper start. Children not getting the love and attention they needed when they were young.

    But you have been there to lay the groundwork for your kids. You've given them the best possible start. For example, a psychologist friend was telling me how important it is that the 9 month old baby knows when she falls, a parent or adult will be there to pick her up. Kids who don't know this end up with all sorts of problems.

    These attachments and foundations you've built are not a finite thing. They don't run out after a set number of years.


    ETA: Yes, it is Charlie LeDuff (a Pulitzer winner, pardon my ignorance ;D). Here's the article. This has stuck with me for weeks since I read it. But when I read it, there was no photo. I had no idea what a hunk this guy was. Geez - this and a stay-at-home dad, too?!

  9. Italian_Stallion

    Italian_Stallion Active Member

    Thanks all. I just read LeDuff's column. I think I could have written it and then some. I'm grateful for the experience I've had, and I pat myself on the back for coming up with such a great plan when it seemed that the cost of daycare was going to suck up most of my paycheck.

    My memory isn't so hot, but I could tell you stories all day. Each one is its own chapter.

    To some degree, it's been as though my professional life has been on hold for the past two years. I've actually earned as much freelancing as I made working full-time before this. But my career was on the verge of jumping up a level or two.

    That's why I should be excited to have a big job interview in the morning. But I just noticed today that I was overtaken with grief, as though I was told I only had a few weeks to live.

    In any case, I'll focus on the fortune I've enjoyed.

    Now I need to go. It's past 4 p.m., and we've yet to do the butt-slap dance.
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