I think about sacrifices of time, of wondering if I am doing the right thing, if this work thing is ever really "working" for me now that I have Angelica. I wish it away in my mind, wish it weren't a necessity for us to have me working full-time, I fantasize about the possibility of going to part-time or maybe just working here or there or from home, and then I am running around and around in my head...again. If I were a dog I would be chasing my tail until I fell to the floor in a heap, exhausted from so much activity. It's the typical grass is always greener scenario. And so I have a lot of questions that don't have answers for the time being. How long do I have to keep up this insane schedule of teaching evenings after full days caring for my girl? Will it ever be possible for our family to not need the two incomes? How in the world would we do this with another child in the mix? How long can we go on like this, and make it work?
Discontent creeps in and I have to make a conscious effort to realize that even though it may not be exactly how I expected, somehow it really is working for now (even though very shakily at times). I have to stop and remind myself that the craziness is not forever, because in the moment it sure feels that way. It's easy to look around and compare, for example, in my case to point the finger and say "Well SHE doesn't have to work" or "Her husband has a job making much more money". Wait a minute. It was never about money when we were dating. It wasn't about how soon we'd be able to afford a new refrigerator or how much money we'd have in the bank, sitting there, waiting for the rainy day. No. It was about doing whatever it took to make it work, to let love be the north star. We sacrificed a lot to even be together; he came from a different country and learned a new language and culture just to be with me. And to think that the years go by and the lines get blurry and I find myself actually thinking that the things and the amounts and the accounts are what bind us?
I may not have the answers to the questions that haunt me; no I definitely don't have them and most likely won't get them until the questions have passed. So, I ask myself if the questions are really so important after all? What is important has been there all along. I look at my strong, independent, loving daughter (who's not even two!) and realize that she is who she is because she has a daddy. And not just any daddy, but a daddy who has always been there from day one. A daddy who's voice she recognized as she was placed in his arms, minutes after birth, her eyes locking on his as he spoke to her. Yes, she recognized that voice because it spoke lovingly to her in the womb. A daddy who learned the precise spot on my belly to rest his ear on, month after month of my pregnancy, in order to hear the heartbeat of his little princess-to-be (even though we thought she was he, the prince, in those days!) A daddy who bounces her on his shoulders, lifts her in the air standing on his hands, chases her around the living room to squeals of glee, and cradles her in his arms at night and sings the same sweet lulliby Hasta mañana, si Dios quiere, que descanses bien, llegó la hora de acostarte y de dormir también, porque mañana será otro día, hay que vivirlo con alegría...each night to her as she settles into his arms and looks into his eyes and sleepily repeats "día" at the end before drifting into dreamland. A daddy who because of the situation, spends four nights a week of one-on-one time with his little girl while mommy is away at work. They eat together, play together, he bathes her. That's after a full day of work for him, and he never complains. He lives for this time with her. Even though he's already out the door and off to work, she asks for him after waking most mornings: papá?
So I've begun to realize what a joy it is that they have this bond. It's so strong because they have this time together, time I have wished away because I resent that I have to be at work. When I look at it from that perspective, I realize that my work is our family blessing. Not just financially, but relationally as well. I guess I better be careful what I wish for, since what I have is what is supposed to be, for now, at this time, in the present. Gotta stop wishing the present away. Soon enough it will have passed and we will long for these sweet days with her. These days that I hope are laying a foundation for a strong childhood and teenage years and beyond. Where she will be able to look back and say "I don't remember how much we had or didn't have. I just remember being together".