I’ve been reflecting on 2015 for a bit and thinking about the best way to represent the year.
Should I do pluses and minuses? overall lessons learned? The answer is “yes.”
But what if I leave something out? Ahh, it’s a blog post buddy, you can add it later.
So here I go, 2015 in reflection.
The first section in the series is on Fatherhood. It will be followed by a section on Career / Business, Spirituality and Misc.
This was probably one of the biggest aspects of my life in 2015.
My son Emerson turned one in March and I spent most of my time watching and being with him. My time with him was a few things:
I’ve basically been a stay at home dad working on a few client projects. Now before you say, “That is awesome and how important that is or how lucky I am,” please note this has been one of the toughest things I’ve had to do.
Not because of his first fever when I called 911 and getting mad because they wouldn’t just tell me what to do but instead insisted on sending an ambulance.
Or because I can’t change a diaper, prepare a meal and do laundry. I can do all three…at the same time.
It was tough because ideally I would have been out there working and my wife would have been home. It just didn’t workout that way with an Intel Layoff in late 2013 and my entrepreneurial project that would take longer to blossom (if at all).
It was tough because at some point I was trying to:
- Raise a kid
- Search for work and
- Doing client work to bring in a little bit of dough.
It was tough because I realized (My friend Amy warned me) that I’m tired by the time Emerson takes a nap and that makes it tough to get work done or build any momentum.
What most of you probably don’t know is that I’ve had issues with people I love not using their potential. That issue stemmed from my belief growing up in the hood that if my mom worked instead of being a stay at home mom our situation would have been better.
That belief has traveled with me into believing that my wife has mad skills and should be working even if her dream was / is to be a stay at home mom.
Using potential is one thing but there was inadvertently a lack of appreciation for being a stay at home mom / parent.
Well, after being a stay at home dad and searching for my next job for a couple of months, I found myself on my hands and knees cleaning up after Emerson and it hit me, both Emerson’s feet from his high chair and this revelation:
“I have been put in this position to be humbled. To gain an appreciation for the work and energy and lack of recognition that I’ve given to the role of being a stay at home mom / parent.”
I’ve found that if things aren’t going my way and I’ve been home with Emerson all day I can easily become angry or irritable.
I want to hit his hand, what we call a “tap” in the Haitian culture, for throwing his plate off the table or trying to fling his dirty diaper while I’m changing him (picture that one for a moment. Ok, now stop).
While I make up that people who curse like a sailor tone it down with the birth of their child, I found myself using words and phrases that I stayed away from before being a stay at home dad.
It’s really been a test for me. My saving grace has been the phrase, “I’m not going to get mad.”
Now let’s talk about the joy of watching a little one grow, learn a lesson you’ve been trying to teach them and how a hug from a little one makes everything alright.
It has been amazing to see how quickly Emerson learned different things and of course how he tried to leverage his knowledge to stay up later than he is supposed to.
I’ve got to watch him learn sign language, use words like duck, up, down and Umma (Korean for Mom). He didn’t get Ah-Pa (Korean for dad) until 2016 but we’ll sneak that in here.
Unexpected joy included sharing people and places I really care about with Emerson. I was moved when I got a chance to take him back to my alma mater and show him where I have a plaque up in my honor, run around on the same football field I did and meet the man, Professor Cody who sparked my love for Ralph Waldo Emerson which lead to us naming our son Emerson. I also got to introduce him to my old football coach Mike Tracy and they hit it off right away.
Lastly I got to see him go to daycare and learn even more great things and become even more independent, “I’m not sitting in no high chair.”
That concludes my 2015 Fatherhood recap. I’m sure there are things I missed but that’s ok.
Stay tuned for the next section on Business / Career.