This Better Be a Real Emergency, Or So Help Me!
The last week has been non-stop at my full-time job where I manage a branch of a Staffing Service. I landed the biggest client of my life and have been focused on reaching out to partner firms across the country for a big project involving 14 Pop-Up stores and Kiosks being set up to sell product for the Holidays. In about a half-an-hour, I will make a call to my Costa Mesa, CA partner to make sure all 15 of her people arrived to start working. Then later in the day, I will make a few more calls to confirm arrival of 30 more people today. The partner who has workers starting on Monday just emailed me an 11th hour approval of terms and she's getting mobilized back East.
This is why I get up early to write - just for a little Me Time, Quiet Time. And this is why I cherish our family time around the dinner table and the time we spend together after dinner playing and reading Narnia and snuggling and laughing before the kids go to bed.
Yesterday, in the middle of a crazy day of documenting every interaction with these partners across the country to make sure nothing is missed, I tore myself away from work to get my son to a doctor's appointment that had been scheduled for a while. I almost cancelled, but realized that taking some time with just him and me in the middle of the day would be a little treat, and a chance for me to breath.
It was only an hour before the end of the day when we got back, so I had him hang out in my office and draw pictures and cut and paste for a little while. He understands that when I'm working, I need to focus on work. He doesn't need to bug me or keep coming to show me things. I'm working at a different desk right now, because in the middle of my busiest week ever at work, my computer got a honking virus and had to be taken apart and sent to corporate for IT to totally dig through it. I let him hang out in my usual office space and doodle on the white board in there.
With just a few minutes until the end of the day, it was crunch time. I was getting so excited to touch base with partners in these various locations and find that they had done their part and we were going to be ready for Friday! Yay.
Ben stands at my desk and tells me he needs to show me something. I almost snap that we've just spent some really fun time together during the middle of the day, and he really needs to let me work now. He insists. I say, "Unless this is an Emergency, you need to let me work." He says it's an Emergency. He needs to show me something right now. I'm tensing my jaw, and digging my nails into the insides of my hands. "Buddy, if this isn't a real emergency... so help me!"
But I jump up from the desk to follow him, sort of stomping a little bit. I want him to know that this is inappropriate and he shouldn't be interrupting me while I'm working.
He gets me into my office and shows me this.
I'm starting to fall apart. Then he tells me to turn around to see the white board. And I see this.
That was when I literally fell to my knees to hug him, and he hugged me hard, and he just held on and kept hugging me while I let the tears fall, because I love him so much. He gets to me. He really knows how to get to me. In the middle of all this busyness and the obligations pulling me in so many different directions right now, I got to embrace my eight-year old and let him break my heart, and then put it back together again, just like that.
It would be lovely if I could spend every moment with him. That isn't realistic in the world today. But the moments I do get with him are focused on him, and uplifting and building and healing for both of us. We both have these poet hearts that want to see the beauty and surround ourselves with it. Sometimes we have to stretch to see if, sometimes we have to pinpoint a tiny moment of gorgeous beauty within a much bigger stretch of work and work and more work. I will never forget this moment collapsed on my office floor to hold him.