In a few weeks I’ll celebrate my one-year anniversary at BuzzFeed. It’s been a terrific year, but it’s also been a big change for us. I’d worked from home for a couple years prior to taking the job, so Annie and James (and Heather) were used to having me around. Very quickly I went from being home all day, every day, to being gone most of the day, and not just during working hours. I commute 90 minutes each way (which is about as fun as it sounds), so that’s another three hours each day.
The good news is that we’ve managed to stay connected by texting photos back and forth. Annie knows that if she wants me to see what’s going on at any moment, she can say “Take a photo and send it to Dad!” This means that sporadically throughout the day my phone vibrates and a photo text pops up like these:
“Annie wants to know how scary she looks.”
“Annie wants you to know ‘Sofia The First’ is on.”
Heather sends me photos, too, usually giving me the scoop on my favorite little guy:
I send photos back, but mine are usually less interesting (hey – not everyone can sit around wearing Knights’ armor). Sometimes, though, cool stuff happens at the office and I’m able to text photos like this:
That one blew Annie’s mind. “Why were The Box Trolls at your office?” “What did they say?” “Can they stop by our house?” (Unfortunately for Annie, the Box Trolls had to fly back to their home overseas immediately after stopping by the office, so they won’t be able to stop by our house. Tough break, I know.)
The photo swapping is fun, but it pales in comparison to the best moment of my day – arriving home. When my key turns in the door I hear Annie squeal somewhere deep in the house, then her feet stomping against the floor. She yells, “Dad!” as she jumps into my arms, and I swing her in the air and give her a big kiss.
James didn’t used to make much of a fuss when I came home (on account of being a tiny baby and all), but now he knows exactly what the key in the door means. Annie always gets to me first, but he’s right behind her saying, “Dada!” I give him the same swing in the air and kiss that I give Annie, and he giggles and squeals.
Those first thirty seconds in the door are awesome, but the next hour or so is great, too, as we pack it with dinner, dozens of different games in the play room, and our entire bedtime routine. It’s definitely a power hour.
Lately Annie has started to ask, “Is it the weekend tomorrow yet?” earlier and earlier in the week. She used to start asking this on Wednesday or Thursday night before bed, but this week she asked the question on Monday night! It broke my heart a little, but then it dawned on me that the fact she wants me home means I’m doing something right. If I were leaving each day and she couldn’t care less, then we’d have a problem. That made me feel better, and I think after a year of this we’re fairing pretty well, all things considered.