Wednesday, June 12, 2013

On scooping up my son and being scooped up

Note: I wrote this post on February 1st but delayed publication due to my discussion about some dissatisfaction with work. The original post follows. -Adam

Back in August, we up and moved from Minnesota to Seattle in what we figured would be a bit of an adventure. At the time, I was getting antsy for some sort of a change. The opportunity to work for Amazon presented itself, and hey, they would cover the costs in moving to a city that I've always thought would be interesting. It seemed like a no-brainer.

As it happened, though, I found that I wasn't particularly satisfied with the change. Some part of it is "the grass is always greener," and some part of it is that I just never seem to be fully satisfied. Regardless, on Wednesday, I was having a lousy day. Andrea and the boys called me up and asked if I wanted to join them for lunch, so she picked me up, we drove around downtown a bit, trying in vain to find a parking spot. We ultimately settled on Whole Foods, going inside, grabbing an a la carte lunch and enjoying each others' company for around 45 minutes.

Somewhere along the way, each of the boys found what I can only assume are wooden coffee stirrers. They used them to stir their ice water, occasionally licking water off.

Reed was having a bit of a rough time that day, as well. He got some pizza but decided he didn't like it. He wanted my pepperoni pizza, which I gave to him, but then he was upset because it had broken in half.

As we left the store, Reed tripped but caught himself enough that he only dropped his coffee stirrer on the floor. That wasn't much solace, though. He now knew his stirrer was dirty and that he couldn't put it in his mouth. I watched him for a moment as he looked at his stirrer and at his ice water, realizing that they would never be the same. He broke down then and there.

I didn't know where he found that stick, and I looked around briefly to see if there were any near us, to no avail. So I scooped him up in my arms, gave him a big hug and kiss and told him it was okay.

That evening, I talked with my Mom and Dad on the phone. As is somewhat typical, we discussed the weather (about 50 degrees in Seattle versus 10 or so in Minnesota) and how I'm liking my job and Seattle. And as has been typical, I am really enjoying Seattle, but less-so the work I'm doing. I'm in a difficult situation (in one of those "first-world problems" kind of ways) in that if I were to leave, I'd be on the hook for repaying a sizable signing bonus and nearly as sizable moving expenses, not to mention the cost in moving back to Minnesota would be non-trivial as well. Without missing a beat, they both told me that if that's what we decide to do, let them know: they'll fly out to Seattle, help us pack up a truck, and we'll all drive our stuff back. It was very thoughtful, and it's great to know that I've got that support.

As I was walking from the bus stop into work the next day, I was thinking about that conversation I had with my parents. It hit me all of a sudden that, in their own way, my parents had scooped me up and told me it would be okay.

On top of that, I realized that while Reed's concern about his coffee stirrer wasn't truly important, it was important to him. So I figured that while my concerns about my current situation are important to me, maybe they're not truly important.

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