This morning as I was leaving for work, Grace stood in front of the door and kept saying “Buh-bye” to me.
It was at the same time adorable and heartbreaking. She knew I was leaving. She knew how to tell me goodbye. But she definitely didn’t want me to go and didn’t know how to express it. Her solution was to stand in my way so I wouldn’t leave.
I gave it a few seconds worth of thought because I totally considered just staying home and not going to work at all.
It was only a second because they are the reason I leave for work every day. Not because I want to get away from them. I hate that part of it. I leave every day because I want to provide the best possible life for them. I want their life to be easier than mine just like my parents wanted my life to be easier than theirs. Just like any parent wants to give his or her kids a good life.
But in that second, I had to question why I do it. Why do I leave them? Why do I even give them an opportunity to be sad? Why can’t I just spend every moment with them? What do they think when I go? Do they miss me and look forward to me coming home? Do they count down the sleeps until we have a day together? Am I doing more harm than good by not spending time with them?
I can get lost in these thoughts, and I often do. Usually it’s late at night or during a slow day at work. Maybe it’s in a moment of frustration at my job (which I had a lot of at my old employer). They’re always in my thoughts, so moments where I drown in the worry of letting them down are inescapable.
It will only get worse as they get older when they’ll not only be unable to comprehend my leaving but also be able to tell me they’re sad or angry about it. I’m not looking forward to those moments. It's those moments when I'll tell them that I have to go, and they'll hate it and maybe even hate me.
They don’t understand why I leave every day or how I feel about it. They may never know the whys and hows. They may not understand the sacrifice involved until they have kids of their own. So until then I’ll tough it out and keep getting up every morning and leaving to the sound of their protests. And my heart will keep breaking a little every time I do.