Bittersweet

(One of my favorite pics from this morning)

Today marks a big milestone in our little (or not so little anymore) boy’s life……the first day of kindergarden. On top of that, it was his first time riding the bus to school which has left me with that bittersweet feeling that tends to come with any significant change in one’s life. You are looking forward to that next stage, yet feel a bit of sadness for the stage that you are transitioning from.

Jack has been going to Montessori school for the past couple of years so going to school atmosphere during the day is not new, but riding the bus is. We were unsure how he would handle this change as we have always dropped him off and picked him up from school. We also were not sure how he would handle getting up so early to get to the bus at 7:30 in the morning.  Today he was so excited, got up without issue and was out extra early for the bus.

Today went much smoother and easier than I was expecting. He got to play with all his friends before school and the excitment for the first day of school was definitely in the air.  It will be interesting to see if the second day is met with the same level of excitement and even to compare today to a month from now. My hope is that is excitement continues and that he finds it both a challenging and rewarding environment to be in.

Today is bittersweet because as excited as I am for Jack to grow and be exposed to new things, I also know this means our boy is growing up and fast.  I am very curious to see him develop and where is interests and talents take him and what he is going to be like as an adult. At the same time, a part of me wishes he could stay etched in time at the exact age he is now.  It is our job to help guide and teach our son, but I find that I am continually learning every day from him as well.

These critical moments and milestones in your child’s life are important. Be sure not to miss these and overlook their significance.  I believe these are the moments we will remember and cherish and bring true meaning to our lives. The real world makes this harder at times and can get us to overlook these if we let it. I cannot say that I have always been successful in turning work off and enjoying the moments, but I am cognizant of it and always try to keep doing better as I go.  

There are varying degrees of success and people look at success differently. Yes, work and career are important in terms of being able to provide and support your family, but your family and being there with them is the most important thing (at least to me). 

A few questions that are on the top of my mind consistently: At the end of my days here, will I be able to say that I was the best husband I could be? was I the best father I could be?  I hope the answer to both of these questions are yes. At the same time, I have to realize that this does not mean I have to be perfect.  At the very least, I hope and plan to be able to say that I gave it my best shot.  What I hope to teach my children is: You may not always win, but as long as you know you tried and did the best you could and you had fun while doing it, you haven’t lost either.

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About Alex Bantz

Director of Quality Engineering at Salesforce in Indianapolis, Indiana. The views expressed here are my own and not those of Salesforce. I am a proud father of 3 wonderful boys. I have been involved in the field of software testing 15 years as both an individual contributor and in managerial/leadership roles. I enjoy not only learning new techniques but also assisting others in their growth and development and am a vocal supporter of the importance of software testing. View all posts by Alex Bantz

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