Friday, July 6, 2012

Still the world goes round

For those not in "the know", a couple of months ago, I left my fancy White House job.  I had one too many late nights combined with one too many missed bedtimes and felt I needed a change.  I took a position with a company I worked for previously that was closer to home and promotes a better work life balance for all.  

Along about the same time I started my new job, we decided K needed something new with regards to her daily routine.  Originally, the idea was for her to go to summer camp through my new job, but when that fell through, we decided a summer of fun would be in order.  We were able to find a wonderful woman who would accept our crazy zoo AND give KIC a super fun summer.  Suddenly, it was like a burden was lifted from my shoulders.  KIC would have an entire summer spent, not with me comparing her to her peers and seeing where the weaknesses were, but instead, doing wonderful, fun, enriching things that neither Brent nor I have much opportunity to do with her.  Both KIC and her caregiver have embraced many new experiences this summer and KIC loves to share her stories with anyone who will listen.

The transitions, coming as close as they did, set the Shoup axis on tilt for a hot second.  I will admit, for my part, certain transitions have been harder on me than I anticipated.  I really did love my job at the White House and I love all the people I met there.  It was hard to avoid comparisons between the new job and my old job.  But I didn't fully appreciate how well my child had adapted to me being gone all the time until yesterday.

Me, pointing to a picture of Barack Obama:  KIC, who is this?
KIC:  I don't know.
Me:  That's Barack Obama.
KIC:  You used to live with him, right?
Me, smiling: No, I used to work for him.
KIC:  But then you left so you could spend more time with me, right? 
Me:  I sure did.  I love you, bebes. 
KIC:  I love you too, Mommy.

After a conversation like that, where I realize that KIC not only recognized my absence, adapted to it and appreciates my presence, it puts things into perspective.  The truth is, she'll love me no matter where I work and moments like this are fleeting.  Suddenly, I don't yearn for what I don't have anymore (as much), I appreciate (again) the gift that is my child.

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