A Quiet Moment – #16

Does it matter whether you’re sick, tired, or just maxed out?

My oldest son is just about through grade 1, and he’s the youngest in his grade. He has a late birthday, and we took our time deciding whether or not to put him into kindergarten early, or wait another year. In the end, it was a decision based on him, as an individual, and not what we commonly heard from others about it always being best to hold them back as long as possible. We took that advice into account, but ultimately he was just not getting the sort of learning he so clearly wanted from his daycare; he was hungry to learn, and excited for it.

He still is, most days, but every once in a while we have a day where he’s “sick.” Most of the time he says it’s his stomach–which is pretty hard to prove or disprove, from a parent’s perspective–and I’m stuck between taking his word for it, knowing that he has cried wolf before and made a miraculous recovery an hour into a day at home with dad, or forcing him to go to school, where he might have a miserable day and/or infect his classmates.

Both choices suck, in their own way.

I love the days at home with him, especially in the summer, but my job is such that I have limited days to take, and my work is always waiting for me when I get back–I just have fewer hours to do it in. Every choice is a balancing of responsibilities, of best and worst-case scenarios. And it sucks.

Should it matter whether he’s actually sick, or if he’s tired and needs to slow down for a day, or maybe he’s just maxed out a bit from the endless social interactions and vagaries of grade 1? As an introvert, I would like to say it doesn’t. God knows that I’d love to be able to just take the day every time I felt maxed out at work–except that I would probably only work about 3 days a week at that rate; it doesn’t take a ton of superfluous social interaction to drain me. But like everything in life, there needs to be balance.

You just have to find it.


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