I would like to introduce a new article series. My friend Miranda “Mandy” is a legal wizard with a unique perspective on love, life, and the law. I enjoy reading her articles and I hope you do as well. Amee
“Good night, Daddy!” were the words that echoed in my head as my 6 year old scurried off to bed and quickly shut the door. I paused. Where’s my hug? Where’s my good night? I didn’t get a kiss! I tip toed into her bedroom to see her brushing her teeth. “No good night, Mommy?” I asked with a hurt tremble to my voice. “Oh, I forgot! You see I was so busy, busy, busy that I forgot you, Mommy.” She quickly hugged me and while she held me tight, she said, “I’m sorry, Mommy.” It was the most sincere apology that one could receive which probably made the pain even worse.
These are the moments that haunt me to the core of my being. I can handle almost anything—the disagreements, the craziness, even the petty lies … but being forgotten torments me like nothing else. A myriad of reasons as to why I have been forgotten tonight pour through my head. Was it a simple mistake—an oversight? Was she playing a joke on me to see if I was paying attention? Or was it something more? Wasn’t it my biggest fear … ???
These are the things that I think about nowadays. Your children will always love you, but there will inevitably come a time when they don’t need you. In these quiet moments, I think of my childhood friend’s mother and the amazing words that she shared with me once … “we forget that our children are just on loan to us!! They are a gift from God and our job as parents are to love and teach them to the best of our ability and then we must let them go.”
As hard as we try, we live in a society where family dinners consist of take out and small talk (Side Bar: I enter a plea of guilty as charged. No withhold of adjudication for me on this one!) You cannot live on one salary alone without teetering on foreclosure or putting the basics on credit. The family unit must work hard to survive. It’s a something’s gotta give to survive mentality that we live in. When it’s all said and done, we know one thing’s for certain— life’s all about choices. Do you work long hours to pay the bills or do you cut out 95% life’s luxuries and learn to use the word “no” over and over again? Then, at some point do our children become resentful at the constant financial woes? I know I did as a child. It’s a fine line with respect to what is the right thing to do in this situation. Obviously, the best of both worlds would be ideal—rich and spend time with our children—but unfortunately there’s only a small portion of our society that has the privilege to partake in such a glorious endeavor. And I’m not one of them…
I guess that the right answer is that there is no right answer until we change our perception from a “busy, busy, busy … work, work, work” society to one that values balance. As for now, you just have to do the best under the circumstances that you’ve got, while always remembering that our children are “on loan” to us and that the time is ticking away. At some point, I know that I will have to let my little angels go and that this reality will destroy me like the forgotten goodnight. But I do know one thing … I’m not going down without a fight. Tick Tock, Tick Tock…
Very truly yours,