I’ve never been one for high-powered jobs, working as a CEO for a bank or law firm – I’m not even remotely qualified, for a start. I like jobs that allow me to help people or focus on my local community – being kind doesn’t require you to be the leader of a business.
I don’t write full-time (although I sometimes wish I could) and I “gave up” full-time work when I became a father. I know I’ll be able to do more in the future, but being a dad is far more important – and when the pandemic first hit, I had intended to give up work entirely for a year or two while I focused on my son and keeping him safe and well.
It didn’t quite work out like that, as I had a job that only needed a few hours of my time, but it was enough for me. I could drop Bryan off to school, work from home, and be there to pick Bryan up at 3 o’clock; it’s always been the best of both worlds. Bryan never really followed my career with much intensity, but he liked the fact I was always there for him.
A few weeks ago, I was approached by a local business and asked if I would be interested in working for them – part-time and working from an office. I haven’t worked from an office in about 16 months, and I was a little nervous, I don’t mind admitting – working from home has its charms and flexibility – and then I realised that I also missed adult company; being with people also had a benefit. Bryan is the centre of my world, and every moment I spend with him is a joy, but I also like to have a conversation with another adult about … well, anything – the state of the lift on Viking beach, a bit of history, or even what you did last night.
So I am returning to an office from Monday for a few hours each day; Bryan is very excited for me, bless him. On Friday, as we walked home from school, I told him that I had finished my last day at the “old” job; he gave me a hug, told me that was “brilliant”, and then asked if I had a snack for him. I couldn’t really ask for much more, could I?
Talking of Bryan, he has done himself very proud this week; he had his school report sent home, which I was so proud of, and his sports day. Parents couldn’t go to the sports day this year, sadly, and I missed it – two years ago, I went to Bryan’s first sports day at his primary school, and he’d never had anyone watching him at an event before; it breaks my heart to think of that, and the joy on that little boy’s face when I turned up with his nan and granddad to watch him was possibly one of the greatest reactions I’ll ever see. I desperately want to see him next year before he goes off to secondary school – which is another of life’s big challenges, but one I’m not entirely ready to think about just yet.
We go into the summer holidays very excited about the rest; it’ll be nice to change our routine for a few weeks, but children like routine more than we appreciate sometimes. I’ve been very careful to give Bryan a sense of routine for the holiday; not structuring every single day like a military operation, but a general sense of when he’ll be going to holiday camp and when we’ll have days open to adventures – both of us like adventures, and I can’t wait to spend the next six weeks with my boy doing just that.