Weirdly, my switch to working out of my home office has caused the boys to become more aware of my work instead of less. In retrospect, this makes sense. Even though I see them more often, me being home and working upstairs keeps me much more in their awareness than when I was at an office.
The other day, I went down to greet them when they came home from school. We chatted a bit and had a snack – a great little break from my work day. Afterwards, I stood up to get back to work. “Great snack, guys! I’ve got to get back to work now.”
“No! Come see the building I made!”
“No! Watch my show!”
“Sorry guys, I’ve got to get back to work. I really do. I’ll see you at dinner.”
“Aw…”, the older said.
“Daddy,” the four year old asked. “Do you like work?”
“You know,” I said. “I do. I like my work. I like making games and web sites and writing… I’m lucky. I really do like my work. But I like playing with you guys too, so it’s hard to get back to work sometimes.”
“Daddy,” he replied. “When I’m a grown-up, I’m going to have the mommy work!”
Behind him, I saw his momma – who teaches at his school and was at her computer taking care of e-mails – stiffen. I smiled. “That’s a great idea, big guy. Get that momma to work. Workin’ mommas, that’s a great idea!”
He smiled and gave me a thumbs up. “Yeah!”
“Momma already works,” my wife interrupted firmly, rising from her chair. “She works hard. Just ’cause I’m not upstairs, that doesn’t mean I’m not -”
The little guy looked back at her. His smile faded. He clearly did not understand what was going on.
“Sorry momma,” I interrupted with a broad smile. “I’ve got to get back to work now. Have fun PLAYING with the kids!”
Her eyebrows arched up to her hairline. She took a breath to respond – and then caught sight of her youngest son. She let the breath out through a smile. “Come on,” she said. “Let’s let daddy get back to work. We’ve got some playing to do.”
“Yeah!” he shouted.
Heh, heh, heh. I’m going to pay for that one.