Today, some of the best people I know sat around a table eating a box lunch and talked about ways to make the world, okay, the state, a better place for children who have the government for their parents. I know this because it’s a meeting I haven’t missed in four years. It was one of my favorites really. I always left energized, with a to-do list as long as my left leg.
In contrast, today, I changed a two-year-old’s clothes three times (wet diaper leak, popsicle fiasco, other kind of diaper leak, respectively). I glue-sticked a complicated origami paper pattern for a ten-year-old because I believed if he had a real (paper) pickaxe, he might not miss the virtual one in his minecraft computer game. 16 paper-cuts and three hours later, I’m pleased to say it totally worked for 15 seconds. I supervised construction of a skateboard ramp, yelled “turn around” a lot and authoritatively. I made food. I drove people to lessons. I dropped off library books. I entertained and fed kid-friends. I rolled out sleeping bags for a sleepover. And I sang “head, shoulders, knees, and toes” over and over and over and over.
Look. I know. I know the thing I did today was more important than the meeting I missed because it belongs to a job I no longer have. There is a good chance my kids will not remember today and an excellent chance the pickaxe is already in shreds. I know my kids will not remember or even know it was a sacrifice for me to do this today instead of that. I know.