Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Its not about the food.

I don't talk about work a lot on social media, at least as it relates to anything negative.  Every negative comment I could say on Facebook or Twitter, can/will be dissected and possibly misinterpreted.  Therefore, I rarely post anything negative on social media, about anything.  However, if we are having #realtalk, it has been a difficult few weeks at work.  Sometimes the pressure is intense, and self doubt creeps in.  Its difficult for it not to.

The one thing that keeps me going is that 90 minutes of the day from 6:00PM to 7:30PM.  I'm generally one of the first in the parking lot at work, but I make it clear that I wont be the last.  Some might think that the "CEO" should sleep on a couch in his office.  I refuse to do that.  The most important thing in my life is those 5 girls at home.  It takes me about 45 minutes to get home every night.  It is lights out at my house at 7:30 sharp.  Taps is played, girls are in bed.  I always enjoy the next hour or so with Brooke, when we catch up on our shows, or just pass out on the couch.  But my highlight is that 6-7:30 block when we are all together.  It literally is the best part of my day.  Therefore, with traffic, if I don't get out of there by 5:30- it isn't happening.  Our time together gets me through all those difficult times.  I work some when they all go to bed, I travel on most weekends.  I have no guilt making sure that I block this small time out for them.

So tonight, per usual when I'm in town, I got home as fast as I could.  It appeared dark when I pulled up the driveway, but I was ready to release the weight of the work day and be surrounded with hugs and shrieks for my homecoming.  Turns out, no one is here.  I then recalled a moment last night when Brooke was talking to me, asking me to do a favor today.  I was immersed at something on my phone, and mentally I was trying to navigate a very difficult situation at work.  After about 3 or 4 minutes of Brooke talking to me, I looked at her and said in an exhausted tone, "I'm not listening to you at all."  I didn't mean to be rude, but I had literally heard zero of what she was asking me to do.  Work, at the moment (and in my mind), was too important.  She didn't deserve that.  She could tell I was distracted, and told me not to worry about it.

I had forgotten about that conversation until I got home about 45 minutes ago.  I was curious as to where my girls were at, and why the house was empty?  That's when I saw this note above.  I recalled Brooke telling me that there was something going on today.  Had I been paying attention, I could have done something to help.  I wasn't, and I didn't.  Brooke could have reacted a lot of ways last night, and she handled it correctly.  Even if I didn't.  She didn't need to cook me dinner,  she didn't need to take care of me.  Not only did she make sure that after a long day I was fed, she made sure (even in her absence) that after a long day....I was loved.

So thank you, Brooke.  Today I wont get my 90 minutes (cause y'all still aren't here), but in a lot of ways, I got something I needed more.  Tomorrow, I will wake up and attack the day in a way that SAE deserves.  Thanks for giving me the support to do so, even when its mentally difficult for me to do so.

6:52 I heard the heard stomping on the back deck, gotta go!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Good touch, bad touch

I have always alleged that my parents love my older brother more than me.  Patrick says "they should, they've known me longer."  Honestly, I don't really believe this to be true, but its fun to tease my parents about from time to time.  Actually, they went out of their way to make sure that things were equal for Patrick and I.  Every time I accused my folks of this, they always had a great response, "we love you equally, just differently."  Now that I am a parent myself, I totally understand what they were saying.

Not only do I love my girls (equally) differently, they each challenge me differently.  Baylor Grace fits right into that mold.  No question, my favorite part of my day is when I take her to school.  Because of the different start times of the different schools, she goes before the others.  On the days that I travel, or have an obligation that makes me go to work earlier, its a lot more stressful to get everyone out the door earlier.  So, not only do I cherish that alone time with Baylor Grace, it helps everyone else out, too.  She talks almost the entire (short) drive to school.  She then holds my hand as we walk to the back door of the school.  We are almost always first in line, most of the time I kneel down and talk with her until she goes.  I always remind how much I love her, and how I miss her already (even though she hadn't gone in yet).  I tell her I will watch her go in until I cant see her anymore, then I walk back to the car....alone.  Ive mentioned it before, it still hurts-just a little- every time.  I know that this time would be the best time for me to workout.  Honestly, its about the only time I can consistently work out. I know that if I didn't do this routine with Baylor Grace, I would not be as pudgy as I am now.  Every night, she asks if I could take her to school in the morning, how could I turn that down?  I don't want to lose this time with her, its worth the trade off.  I love my morning talks with Baylor Grace.  

She does challenge me though, differently than her sisters.  I worry about Reagan, because I think she is too hard on herself.  She is your typical, great, first child.  If she doesn't get a 100% on every thing she does, she gets upset.  Her perfectionist streak is from her mother.  I worry about Caroline, because she is such an emotional basket case.  She looks for the best in everyone, and as a result, she leaves herself vulnerable to getting burned/hurt.  She has a huge heart, which will someday be a target.  She gets that from her father.  I worry about Hadley, because she has her father's sense of humor, but her mothers daring personality.  This is a very dangerous combination.  This will get her in, and out, of lots of trouble.  Then there is Baylor Grace.  She has the blond hair, blue eyes.  I once mentioned that Caroline was like the mayor of her school, everyone said hello (and loved) Caroline.  Baylor Grace isn't the mayor of her school, she is more like the Carrie Underwood of her school.  When we walk up to school (as I mentioned above) the boys literally come running to say hi.  I am tempted daily to give the boys a quick judo chop, as I have to already fight them off.  I understand the headlines would not be favorable, but I think every father in the world would understand my position.  This was only amplified the other, when she was leaving school and hugged and kissed a boy goodbye. Not to mention, this happened one day after a different boy (Bryan) gave her a rainbow loom bracelet.  She is going to be trouble.

When each of the girls reach about the age of four, my wife has taken on the unenviable task of teaching the girls the difference between "good touch" and "bad touch".  I hate this, it makes me sick to my stomach.  Not just because this is every parents nightmare, but because its an end of an innocent stage of their lives.  It means they are getting older. It is one of their first lessons of the bad parts of a life, that up until this point, had been nothing but a life of love and happiness. That lesson stinks, too.  Brooke has always had a fantastic way with kids in general, but she does a great job of explaining this difficult subject to kids.  She can really get on their level, and I am totally fine letting her tackle this one.

These conversations had gone pretty well with the girls.  The first two understood with no major questions.  Private parts are private, if it happens you have to tell Mom and Dad, etc.  Well, today was Baylor Grace's day.  Brooke said things were going well until she asked Baylor Grace if she had any questions.  BG had one, Brooke braced herself.  

Brooke:  Baylor Grace, do you have any questions for Mommy?
Baylor Grace:  So....what happens when I get older, are people allowed to touch my private parts then?

So after Brooke picked her jaw off the floor, she said no.  Those are her private parts (we will burn that bridge when we get there). Jesus, Mary, & Joesph, Baylor are going to give your father a heart attack.

Suddenly questions about The Tooth Fairy, The Easter Bunny, and Santa, seem a little more manageable.