You work hard. It keeps you busy. You are trying to provide for a family after all–to keep them safe and secure, so they never have to want or go without. That’s why you come home late, after they’re all asleep. That’s what has you rising early and heading to the airport, before anyone has stirred.
It’s beautiful. It’s inspiring. It’s your job. It’s also sad. Very sad. And very easily the sign of something very broken.
The lyrics to the great song Runaways from The Killers capture it perfectly:
At night I come home after they go to sleep
Like a stumbling ghost, I haunt these halls
There’s a picture of us on our wedding day
I recognize the girl but I can’t settle in these walls
As we’ve said before, we tell ourselves we’re doing these things for our family, but what does our family really want? More specifically, what do our kids want? They want us!
They want us to be present, literally and figuratively. They want us to tuck them into bed and be there when they wake. When you’re in the thick of work, when you’re focused on building that nest egg and those college funds, that desire just to be present and to know us…and for us to know them…it can feel like they’re asking too much.
Really they’re asking very little of you, it’s just that it means everything to them.