Moving-Up Day

We’re headed off to The Narrator’s School in a short while. I don’t know when it started, but the school has this traditional ceremony called ‘moving up day’ which is pretty much like graduation for the elementary school. The kids sit with their teachers, then one by one each class stands up and moves back a row to the next grade’s teachers, symbolic of the end of the school year and the completion of the grade.

Today….The Narrator ‘graduates’ from Kindergarten. He and I are already making plans for the summer when we’re both home for the first half of the day. We’ve got fishing and camping and the annual trip to the Monster Truck show….I don’t know which one of us is looking forward to it more, and I hope I don’t screw it up.

Actually, I think my wife is happiest about it. She’s absolutely noted the lack of time I’ve had to spend with our oldest child with him being in school in the morning and me working at night. It isn’t an easy relationship to have.

I miss a lot of what he’s going through, and he’s beginning to see me as the guy who is never around. Nary a day goes by when he utters “I missed you today” during the short window when I do get to see him. He was a little bummed when he asked me “After Tuesday, are you on summer vacation too?” …and my answer wasn’t what he’d hoped.

I’m not going to ruin the summer with extra jobs and side work all over the place either. I’ve got my work which needs to be done and done properly, and if I keep picking up side crap, not only will I be burning myself out to the point where I was a week or so ago before my break, but I’ll be further stressing my relationship with my family.

I have a long way to go to fix everything, but Moving-Up Day is as symbolic for me as it is for The Narrator. He leaves Kindergarten, and I have a chance to leave the screwed up world of an overworked, never-there dad and spend some time with what is really, truly important.

Advertisements

Fifteen Hours Until Reboot

Or you’re in massive trouble.

It’s come to my attention that the last few weeks in terms of my work and jobs, I’ve been half-assing several things instead of whole-assing one thing, and it looks like it’s come round to bite me in the bottom rather seriously. Don’t expect clarification on that, I truly don’t care to talk about it.

As a result, my little getaway planned for this weekend will serve as a mental reset, a reboot of the system if you will. Three days where I don’t have to do anything but relax a bit. Then, when I come back on Monday, I can face the problems I’ve created from overworking myself head-on, and deal with the consequences.

Those of you familiar with the nature of my work can relax a little- I didn’t hurt anyone.

But yeah, as of right now, I’m 15 hours away from rebooting. Actually, fourteen hours, forty-five minutes…..and counting.

Changing the subject-

Anyone who has been reading my work here since I’ve started might have noticed a shift in content material.

I started this as another parenting blog, and slowly, as my work grew, it began to morph into a career-oriented page, with sprinkles of family related material here and there. Truly, it has become an indicator of what my life has become of late. My family life and experiences have become scattered in between the cracks of my work.

I don’t like that. Not at all.

So while my life has dictated the direction of this blog, I’m going to try to use this blog as a way to refocus myself. If I start to hack out the work stuff and focus on family, parenting, and kids- as I’d intended when I started this, maybe I’ll be starting to force myself back into some semblance of a life that doesn’t revolve around my work.

I hate to say it, but over the last few months, and specifically weeks, “AdequateDad” ……hasn’t been.

Both of the boys are starting to miss me as I jump from one job to the next, The Narrator asked my wife the other day “When will daddy be home for the whole day?” And last week, he broke a lego project we’d been working on, and when he couldn’t get it back together on his own, he broke down and sobbed “I wish daddy was here….I wish daddy was here.”

If that’s not a kick in the face from the universe to remind you of what is actually important, I don’t honestly know what is.

Point is, I need my reboot this weekend, and when I come back, I’d damn well better have my family and work life sorted out, or I may end up losing both of them.

Fourteen hours, thirty minutes……

Toddler Logic

We came back from the grocery store this morning, and I parked the car in front of the house. I let Mini-Me out of his car seat and set him in the grass. He took off towards the house. He got 3/4 of the way there, stopped, and ran back to my wife and I. He held up his hands.

“Carry me?”

Woah. Time Out.

I lucked out and managed to wrangle a little time off this morning. Originally, I’d taken off next friday from my IT job so I could wile away the hours in the morning packing for my 3 day hiking trip that is upcoming. Then, my wife reminded me that The Narrator’s Kindergarten class has its end of year picnic and grandparent’s day celebration today.

I called my boss and asked to switch the days off. I apologized for messing things up. To which he said: “I’ve already planned coverage for next week, and I’ll make this week work. Plan on taking them both off if you want.” You simply don’t find too many bosses like that.

So. I get out of IT this morning and get to go to the kid’s picnic. I’m not completely off the hook, I still have a 3-11 security shift at an event that promises to be a giant, insane affair. Simply look at the lineup for the weekend:

http://tasteofcountryfestival.com/lineup123/

Toby Kieth, Tim McGraw, Keith Urban, Sara Evans…..our rural little town is going to be overrun with country music fans. Plus, since most of them are camping at or near the venue, once the music ends, that isn’t a signal for everyone to go to bed and relax. Oh no. It’s going to be interesting.

I work there tonight and tomorrow night with my mornings off. Unfortunately, I don’t get to see any of the acts or even hob-nob with them in a security capacity, since I’ll most likely be working in a parking lot for my shifts. Those shifts by the way, are 8 hours on my feet with maybe a 10 minute break to wolf down what is usually a cold dinner served up by a supervisor on a golf cart who says “When you get a chance, here’s dinner.” Last year I remember myself and my partner splitting a twelve inch sub while we worked. There was no actual break. Not that the company we work for didn’t want us to take one, but because the nature of the job didn’t allow for it.
In spite of the incredibly hard work and very moderate pay….it’s a few extra bucks and its a ton of fun, so I don’t really mind any of it.

Tomorrow morning I’ll be up early, hopefully with The Narrator so we can go fishing again. He doesn’t seem too keen to go out, so I’ll have to prod him a bit. I think his tune will change once we’re out on the water. It’s either fish, or yard work.

At any rate, I’m looking forward to July. The Narrator will be home on summer break, and my schedule returns to normal, which means my number of hours with him each day will skyrocket. I hope to make the most of it.

I’ve got a real break planned for next weekend. Myself and a few other guys are heading into the Adirondacks for a long weekend of hiking, camping, and unwinding. I’ve taken a day off from the PD, banged in on my Friday night ambulance shift, and am amped to spend some time decompressing.

The only thing is….I’m going to need YOUR help when I get back. I’ll need to figure something nice to do for my wife, who is not only being incredibly patient while I’m off at these security shifts, but had happily green-lighted my trip to the mountains….all the while shouldering the kids while I’m off. So, yeah. I know a lot of my readers are fellow parents, including a number of mothers, so I’m going to be actively seeking suggestions for something I can do to show her that I appreciate her patience, and I’m not always an insensitive boob. Mull it over for a while, come up with a few ideas, and let me know what you come up with when I come begging for help in saving my marriage.

Enjoy your weekend everyone. Make the most of it. After all, you’ll never get it back once its over.

See You on the 19th.

AD is taking a small break.
Actually, it isn’t a break so much as it is “He ain’t gonna have time for a while.”

In the two weeks between now and June 19th, I’ll be working somewhere around 135 hours, or roughly two back-to-back 65 hour work weeks with no days off.

It’s festival time here in the mountains again, and I’ve been asked to work security for two events on consecutive weekends.

This is a good thing, and a terrible thing. Good, because the added coin that will be coming in is always nice. Bad because virtually all of my time between now and the 19th has been monopolized. If I’m not working, I’m sleeping. Or maybe eating. If I’m lucky.

My lovely and beautiful wife is not happy. Not only am I not going to be home very much, but she’s of the opinion that I’m pushing myself too hard.

She’s probably right, and I promised that when these two weeks are over, I will not be picking up any extra work, and I may even be eliminating the ambulance shifts all together in the near future.

Anyway. The point is, I’m going on a short hiatus born out of necessity. I may find a spare moment or two to duck in, but if I don’t, please don’t think I’ve abandoned this little corner of the web.

That isn’t to say that I’ll be completely out of the loop. One of the benefits of this world we live in is that the wordpress app on my phone gives me perfect access to my reader, even if the ‘update’ function is a pain in the neck to use, since I detest typing on that tiny sliver of a screen more than I have to.

So, until I get back, keep writing, keep the coffee warm, and keep in mind the dumb sap who doesn’t seem to know when ‘enough’ blossoms into ‘too much.’

See you when I see you.

~AD

Coffee and Beer, A Love Triangle Broken.

Not so very long ago, I was like many other young men. Any given day could be split into times where coffee was appropriate, and when beer was appropriate.

Too late for coffee was perfect for beer. Too early for beer was coffee time.

Now, I’ve never been a huge consumer of alcohol, but this was a convenient way to break the day down into manageable pieces.

Older now, and having six of my seven nights a week locked up with work that makes beer not only inadvisable, but illegal, I have all but forsaken the beer half of the day.

In fact, now that I work nights, I have learned that ‘coffee time’ is…well…any time.

And its wonderful.

I feel like I have stopped cheating on coffee with beer, and have started to devote all of my time and love to her, and she’s making me so very happy. Not only is she there for me when I wake up in the morning, but she’s there all through the day and deep into the night. She’s there to support me on 3am ambulance calls and warms me on cold winter nights.

My old ex, beer, is still around and we see each other from time to time. Our meetings are sparse and brief. She’s usually very cold when we bump into each other, but warms by the time we part ways again, almost as if she would like to have me back. But it can’t work. She can’t be there for me first thing in the morning, and if she was with me on a 3am ambulance call….she’d really only complicate things. As sexy and alluring as she is, with her curved bottles and exotic tastes, I can only want her, never need her. She’s always been a plaything, never a companion.

Coffee though, Rich and warm, and as equally beautiful as beer, she wakes me gently in the mornings and helps me through the toughest of nights. Nobody stares at us when we’re out in public together. We can talk down the street together in broad daylight and aren’t judged by people who see us. We don’t get thrown out of stores when we’re together, and can even take a drive without a problem.
I am comfortable with Coffee, and happy.

I can’t live without her.

…..actually, that’s not a joke. Caffeine withdrawal can ruin an entire day.

Coffee has always been understanding too. Even after being hurt by beer, she’s been there to help pick up the pieces. Always faithful and loving, I’ve never once regretted spending a night with her as I have with beer.

So while it is true that I’ll backslide from time to time and have a short tryst with beer, it is never anything serious. Simple, one-time things that never last, and never effect me for more than a moment.
I’ve moved on, and Coffee has been by my side, promising to never leave, even if she catches me side-eyeing an old flame once or twice a month.

…….

This got weird. Sorry.

It’s a good thing my wife doesn’t read this blog.