My mom used to say “Life is made of moments“ and I couldn’t quite understand it until I had a kid of my own.
As I read this tragic and heartbreaking post It’s later than you think on Hacker News about this family that lost their healthy son seemingly overnight, I started pondering on my life choices and responsibility as a parent.
When my daughter was born, I knew I wanted to be present in her life. I didn’t want to only “provide” for my family, I wanted to be hands-on and split the hard work of changing poopy diapers, giving a bath, put her to bed and play, tons of playing, tickles and cuddles.
I sometimes tell my wife that ordinary days are the best days and as I reflect on the story above with a knot in my throat, I’m grateful I’ve made that a priority in my life.
Almost five years ago, I became a parent. The startup I was working for didn’t have a parental leave policy back in the day, so I took one week off, and when I came back, I announced that would be working from home one day here and there to help my wife with our newborn.
Fast forward a couple of months, and our lease was due to renew. We knew that our single bedroom insanely expensive Bay Area apartment wouldn’t cut it, so it was time to find a new place to live.
As we made an offer and bought a house, my easy Caltrain commute of ten minutes became an hour and a half each way. That led me to an agreement of working two days a week remotely and three in the office.
Pretty soon, those two days became three then four, then the whole week, and five years passed quickly by, and I was there, through my ups and downs, but I was present. I was working my butt off, but instead of taking a “facebook break” or whatever (insert your poison here) I would go and play with her for 5-10 minutes at a time, and I saw her grow in front of my eyes.
Heck, it isn’t all flowers but seeing how happy she gets it when I say that I’ll take her to gymnastics class in the middle of a Tuesday afternoon makes the whole difference in the world. I’m not skipping work I’m just shifting it, work is 24/7 nowadays anyways.
The tide has been on my side, but I know circumstances change. I don’t know what the next five years will be like. But every now and then I gotta remind myself that as cheesy as it sounds Life is Short.
Now I finally understand what my mom was trying to say.
Life is made of moments.