You stare at me with your innocent wide eyes and I think to myself, what good have I done in my life to be entrusted with your care? I whisper what I think is your favorite lullaby until you fall asleep. I place you in your crib and I watch you sleeping. You’re unaware of my watchful eyes as your small chest rises and falls. Every few minutes, I get up to cover you up again with the pink blanket you insist on kicking away. You are exhausted after a long day you spent eating and playing.
I must confess that I’m exhausted as well. Two nights ago as your mother was busy preparing for an important project, I fell asleep with you lying on my chest. I didn’t even know I had fallen asleep until your mother woke up me up to meet your questioning eyes. Why did you go to sleep? Why did you leave me? I try to fight off sleep every night so I can spend a couple of hours more with you. I arrive home at 8 every evening and I leave it at 4 in the morning. I come when you’re asleep and I leave when you’re asleep. I spend more time with more energy with other kids at the hospital while guilt is eating me up inside. I play with a boy named Thomas everyday more than I ever could with you when I come back home tired after a long day at work.
Even the weekends are rarely mine to spend with you. This month I’ll be working for two straight weeks without a break and when that one day off comes after a long wait, I’ll spend it in bed because my body is weaker than I want. I wish I didn’t need as much rest so I can spend this time with and your mother to do all the things I didn’t get the chance to do lately.
Your mother is exhausted, too. She’s going through a new journey and it’s not fair for me to leave it all on her shoulder. It’s not fair to ask her to make the sacrifices alone. We don’t know when our adventures will end or rather, when we’ll want them to end. The truth of the matter is that all the things we do are our own choices and not something we’re forced to do. There is a number of easier options but we chose this road and we’re going to walk it through to the end.
What pains me is that I was at the hospital on the first day you smiled. Although it’s a small thing, it’s the first of many things I’ll have to miss. I’ll probably end up missing the first step you take, the first tooth that falls, the first day at school and a million other things. These are moments that cannot be replaced or retrieved.
Sometimes I wish I was working in a more predictable job with better hours so that I could come pick you up from school then we would have the remainder of the day to do all the things I don’t have the time or energy to do now. I have a life that I might spend half of which in clinics and hospital rooms day and night. Don’t misunderstand me because this doesn’t mean that I regret my decisions or that I want to change anything. My work is my passion and i wish that one day you’ll find a career that will be a calling to you instead of a source of income. I only fear that my ambition could be blind. Your father is eager and wants to achieve dreams that may not be realistic. Your father is a dreamer and that has many advantages and disadvantages. All I wish is that we one day we could reap the fruit of all these sacrifices. All I wish is that you won’t be the one who ends up paying the price of your father’s ambition when he was young and naive.