As the Mrs. and I prepared to celebrate another year of partnership, we were blessed with the news that she had sold her first TV show. Aside from all of the euphoria that followed immediately after, it was a reminder of what can happen when you stick to the plan you have set out to reach your goals. These milestones become even sweeter when we reach them now as they happen within the context of trying to raise our boys to be responsible citizens who will grow to pursue their own passions knowing that their parents are there at their back every step of the way which is no easy task. Plotting out how to achieve these professional and familial goals at the same damn time has been one of the lessons for me this year and I have found myself seeking out the advice of my marriage mentors more than ever.
Lil Man discovered a passion this summer for baseball and it took over our world. He not only completed his first season of Little League, but was honored with a spot on his age group All-Star team. This commitment meant more practices and weekend-long tournaments that changed the way weekend family time was constituted. Date nights became more sparse, and it became more necessary to plan time to catch up and make sure that we were still on the same page. In the span of year, we went from a rec league mindset to the borders of travel ball land, no small feat. I'm wary of specialization and want to hold it off as long as possible, but it's no easy task when Lil Man would happily play everyday year-round. The increased commitment to kid activities means the excitement of seeing game winners and winning tournaments. However, it also means professional sacrifices need to be made.
In order to be the parent that I want to be, the kind who is present to witness as many kid "firsts" as possible, there's some things that won't happen. I haven't been able to be as civically active as I'd like, I didn't get to go out and get my "Married to the Franchise" world tour on in the way that I would've liked, but the book is done, and I will always have time to spread the word. One of the things I learned this summer is that a passion project is by definition a pursuit that is meant to stay in the background, until the time that it becomes the main hustle. It doesn't take precedent over making sure we find the right day care for Munchkin or make sure that Lil Man is prepared for school to start. Somehow with all that's going on Nkechi and I have found enough creativity to maintain the excitement of our partnership.
I had good reason to pat myself on the back about when I successfully surprised the Mrs. with a new ring set at my book signing. With the increasing number of days when we don't get to go to bed together, I feel it necessary to not just say "I love you" and "I appreciate you", but to create moments that show it. I know that she feels pressure to continue to excel in her profession and these special moments are meant for her to understand that I've got her back and she doesn't have to feel like she has to be superhuman. The thing that continues to make us work is that she has the same mindset. This week she matched my new ring set by surprising me with a new car, complete with bows. Her message came through loud and clear, and all I could muster was a "Thank you". So now we start Year 13 working on getting TV shows on the air, winning CIF titles, and raising Rhodes Scholars. Looking forward to what another year of work will bring.