An apology to my kids

Dear Monkey and Choo Choo,

Yesterday, I worked from home. This is not the first time I’ve done so. The reasons for working from home are also largely irrelevant. The point is that I was there, even though I really wasn’t. I was working, which means my mind is elsewhere.

For you, I was home. This "working" thing doesn’t make any sense to you, nor should it. I was at home; that’s all that matters to you. So you did what you should be doing when I’m at home:

Daddy, I[‘m] hungry.
Daddy, [can you] read [this] story [to me]?
Daddy, can you take me around the block on my bike?
Daddy, come play!

Instead of "yes", which is what you expected, you heard me say "no", and far too often, angrily. And for that, I apologise. You shouldn’t have had to deal with me like that. I made you cry a couple of times, Choo Choo, for you understand the least. You know when I leave in the morning, I’m going to "work". Even though I know you don’t really know what "work" means, you know I’m not at home. Lately, this elicits:

I[‘ll] miss you.

See daddy’s heart. See daddy’s heart shatter into a million pieces. See daddy cry as he watches his kids’ lives slip from his fingers.

So I’m going to make a deal with you. I know you’ll accept, so this is more kicking myself in the butt to make sure I do it. I will never work from home again. That means that if I am at home, and you’re awake, I’m yours. If it’s a "normal" work day, I’ll shift my hours to a time when you’re asleep. If I’m at home, we do what you want to do. We play, we read, we go for walks.

Because I can’t bear to say "no" anymore to the things that matter to you.

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