Papa Snapshot: what does our time look like right now?

Querida Rosita,

Hola mi Patita ruidosa! Dejame iniciar este post por decir que…I’ll write in English, even though I speak to you in Spanish. And, so, let me answer your Mama’s question, which btw is an excellent question. Since you’ve come into our lives, we’ve had such wonderful talks and even more persevering questions….the most important of which is this one: how are we spending our time right now and is it how we WANT to be spending our time?

Let’s start. I take care of you. All day. Unless your grandparents are in town or your Mama is free to spend time with you, which is supposed to be Monday morning and all day Friday. But she really makes the effort to be with you a lot more than that…something which she accomplishes more than she thinks. And I, well…somehow I can’t seem to always tear myself away from you. We haven’t perfected this Monday morning scheduling-thing in the least, nor can I bear to be away too long on Friday from my “girls.” So, it really does end up being that my days are spent almost entirely with you…awake and asleep (YOU, not ME, unfortunately!). When your grandparents are in town, it really is another matter: I do my best to stay away as best I can. I want you to develop a real, deep, and close personal relationship with both of them. And for that to happen, we can’t be around…even though I’ve gotten used to spending so much time with you and miss you dearly.

And I love spending most of my day with you. I see great value in it. And purpose. And, because of my own experience growing up…I know how short a time it actually is (once again, for YOU, not ME) that you’re a baby, a toddler, a girl, an adolescent, a young woman, and beyond. You’ll have much time to be an adult and, hopefully, I be around for a sizable chunk of your adulthood but I really need to be there for your childhood…this time, for YOU and for ME.

Interspersed throughout the day, I work: managing details of stays and guest communications for guests that come stay at HappyNest properties (a business which I co-founded with your mother and which leaves me much time to spend with you), managing the needs of clients of my real estate practice and doing quite some reading about the current news, stock market, life and its meaning, etc. You know, largely insignificant issues like that  But seriously, I try to give myself some time each day to let my imagination and emotions some time to explore and run free. It’s not always good, and sometimes rather dark…but it’s liberating. I need it. I feel that most of my life, I haven’t been able to let my creativity and imagination run free…for a host of reasons. But I try to give them space now. I have a fertile imagination and it needs unleashing every thrice in a while. And I like all of this, but…

I realize I haven’t answered the implicit question: is my time being spent in the way I want to spend it right now? Well, is anyone spending time in the way s/he wants to spend it right now? I imagine the answer is that it’s less than we want to think and aspire to and is actually more than we think it to in fact be. But, ultimately these last two sentences are a cop-out. And I’ve written them because the answer is a resounding NO. A much louder NO than I thought it would be. Which is truly surprising to me because there are a lot of things I enjoy thoroughly about my each and every day:

1) Seeing your mother each day and taking a walk together with you and the pups is an ineffable pleasure. It sets the tone for each day. And because of it, I feel there is a god watching over us. 2) You; spending time with you and guiding you in your experiences and learning in your thus far short life is the single greatest blessing your mother and I have conspired to afford us both…the opportunity to be raised by your parents. Where you don’t have to have a nanny, or go to daycare or stay with your grandparents full-time during the day while we slave away at jobs that may be amazing but in no way hold a candle to spending time with you. Not that there’s anything wrong with having a nanny or being at daycare. Just for us, and for me in particular…I want you to be raised by…US. And, 3) I have freedom to schedule my day as I want mostly…and can spend it outside in the sun and playing tennis most days and I love that! I remember days that were made darker with little access to a shining sun.

But, you know, mi hormiga linda, I’m not happy despite these amazing parts of my day. And it’s not as I want. And that sucks. But I really think it has to do with this…place. With America. Does that sound weird? It does to me…and I’m saying it.

There’s something in my soul that’s missing here. I don’t know how else to say it. And I guess I know there’s better out there because I felt completely at home in Ecuador doing work that was substantially taxing but emotionally fulfilling.

Last thing I will say is that something keeps coming to mind and I’m not sure how it relates exactly to the subject at hand but it does, I think. The thought that keeps coming to mind is…the time-space continuum. And since we’re talking about our time devoid of its sister, space, I feel somehow that this conversation is wanting. I don’t know how, but it feels like it is. That space holds much weight and we need to give it its due when considering how we spend our time here doing the things we want to do and doing the things that fill our time.

How do we reconcile this?

Sinceramente con amor,

Tu Papa

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We at Letters To Rosie create a more connected future for parents and children by starting the conversation...now. We send parents thought-provoking questions each week and, through their responses, allow them to present their rich inner selves to their children.