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Like a Phoenix from the ashes, with glitter

Oh, my God. Dave's back.

If you're one of my nine regular readers, you may have noticed my absence. For the three of you who missed me, I'll offer an explanation.

As for the remaining six of you, I know what you're thinking. Oh, Dave was just sitting around that new Starbucks they put in the supermarket, drinking four dollar lattes, listening to music meant for 20 year olds and touching his iPhone. That's because I've been  sitting around that new Starbucks they put in the supermarket, drinking four dollar lattes, listening to music meant for 20 year olds and touching my iPhone.

I've also been thinking about work, family, priorities, the kids and my place in all of it. Let's start at the beginning.

Dave Caolo

2008 began with my 37th birthday. I received some great gifts, including an Oh My God I’m Forty and Still Can’t Get My Life Together, a You’re Not Forty But Close Enough, a When Will I Be Able To Just Buy a Damn Concert Ticket Without Having to Save Up First and, from my wife, a Please Stop Dressing Like a Homeless Teenage Runaway Because You’re 40 Now and Stop Sucking in Your Stomach Because You Aren’t Fooling Anyone.

So that was good.

From my employer of 15 years, I received a notification: The company will cease to exist in about six months, so go and find a job (Note to self: time to cut down on the four dollar lattes). This event sent me into a tailspin. I'm not the breadwinner around here; my wife makes much more than I do. As I like to say, "I paid for slightly less than one half of all of this."

The first thing I did was contact everyone I know. I printed and shipped resumes everywhere. I considered taking the least interesting widget-cranking job just to keep the paychecks coming in. After all, I've got a house, a wife, a serious latte habit and two kids.

Ah, the kids. Yes, Grace and William are still around, growing, yelling and making each other crazy. Grace has figured out that it's really fun to knock William over. William, being a nearly-three-year-old, has discovered how fun it is to shout demands at my wife and me.

So far, we've been able to avoid daycare for either of them, thanks to the extremely flexible schedule offered by my employer. Our aversion to day care is strictly a financial one: out here, one can expect to pay $1000/month per child. I mean...yikes.

I've also enjoyed spending every Wednesday, Thursday and Friday with them since Grace was born nearly five years ago. I don't want to give that up. If I found another 9 to 5, Monday to Friday job, I'd have to. Plus, we'd have to put William in day care, offsetting most potential raises.

So, after much deliberation (and meetings with a career counselor), I've made a decision. I'm going to work for the one person who understands the needs of a parent of young kids, offers the most flexible of schedules and is married to the greatest woman in the world.

Me.

I'm either brave, smart or utterly foolish, but I've decided to go into business for myself. You're reading the words of the world's newest Technology Consultant (which is a fancy way of saying I'll come to your house or business and do pretty much what ever you want). My motivation is my skill set (I'm a life long geek), work style (I like to manage new things on a regular basis) and the kids.

My days with them are more precious than anything I can think of. When I tuck them in at night and Grace is holding the stuffed cow I won for her at Hershey Park before she was even born, and William's messy blond hair is poking out from underneath his Hot Wheels blanket, I know that I want to dedicate my life to their health, happiness and well-being.

Last week, Grace and I were covering her new Dora the Explorer keepsake box with sequins and glitter (in fact, I'm still finding glitter on myself. How do you get rid of this stuff?).  I thought, "If that means working harder for less money, so be it. I'd rather sacrifice the summers in Tuscany for local baseball games with the kids".

Wish me luck, dear readers. I'm so happy to be back writing for you. I've missed the great Parenting community and all your wonderful comments. Pull up a chair, grab a latte and tell me...how have you been?

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