I don't suffer from mom guilt too much anymore. I'm almost at my two year anniversary of returning to second shift. I see Selim 45 minutes a day during the week and as much as I can on weekends. I am a pro at homework over the phone as I sit in my office during dinner and hash out math problems or review spelling words. I've been to some school activities because I'm home in the morning. When he has been sick, I've stayed with him on days where I don't have mandatory meetings or training. I've tried my best these past 22 months. I don't know what inner turmoil he has going on, but outwardly, he doesn't let it show too often.
This past Tuesday tested my resolve. Selim had a dentist appointment to have a tooth pulled. When I made the appointment, I assumed I could go into work an hour late and it wouldn't be a problem. Then a mandatory, combined shifts, management meeting with the HR team got scheduled right at the start of my work day. I picked Selim up at school and brought him to the dentist. I stayed through the Novocaine shots. Then I kissed him on the forehead, told him he was very brave, reminded him that the kid Motrin was on the bathroom counter, and walked out of the dentist office as Nedim came in to take over the parental responsibility.
I drove to work with blurry vision as the tears leaked out.
Later in the afternoon I called home as soon as I could. Selim was fine and Nedim had managed not to be a wreck watching the tooth pulling. I was still a mess. I called again before bed just to be sure everybody was still OK. Selim read me his note to the Tooth Fairy.
I had forgotten about the Tooth Fairy aspect of the event. It had been a long time since a tooth had fallen out. I tried to warn him that the $100 he requested might be a bit of a stretch. He said he would still ask.
He woke up to find five-one dollar bills wrapped up in a note. The Tooth Fairy thought that the dentist experience was worth more than the usual way. However, due to the other children with teeth under their pillows, $100 was not in the offing.
He was happy with the $5.
Yesterday was warm enough to play outside without a jacket. We still have a snow pile on the front lawn, but it is shrinking. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the nor'easter predicted for Tuesday night into Wednesday will drift farther out to see and not give us 6 to 12 more inches of snow.