Last Monday I had agreed to chaperon #1’s field trip to the museum. Last Monday I was certain the week would be productive. Last Monday, I knew that I would need a break by Friday. Last Monday ….
By Friday, however, things had changed. I had achieved nothing I had planned to accomplish. By Friday I had lost the week in a quagmire of meetings and busy work. By Friday I needed a day to myself to work. By Friday ….
I sat in my car at #2’s school, conflicted by incompatible yet equally fulfilling obligations. I couldn’t simultaneously fulfill the promises to myself and my job, on the one hand, and those I had made to #1 and his class, on the other hand. It’s not like I would be missed at the museum. Other parents had promised to chaperon. But it wasn’t like I would be fired if I didn’t complete my work Friday. I could work Friday night and Saturday. But I wanted to go to the museum. I wanted to spend the day with #1. Yet I also wanted to finish my projects. I had to finish them. There was no easy solution. Either I deprived #1 of time with me or I deprived me of sleep and time on the weekend.
I turned right out of the parking lot and headed to the museum. I chose #1. Although I paid the price for that decision later, seeing #1’s face light up when he saw me, hanging out with him for the day, made it the right choice.