Lawrence's blog: The October christmas tree
"During my weekend moonlighting as my eldest’s chauffeur (although we traipse from Saturday activity to activity with her on the back of my bike, so I’m more akin to a Deliveroo cyclist), I saw my first ridiculously early shop display Christmas tree. This artificial, white, somewhat tacky tree served as a potent reminder that we are steamrollering towards the end of yet another year, and seem to be ploughing through life without pause.
On the child front, out of nowhere my eldest daughter has just completed her first half-term of school and aside from having developed a teenage-esq taste for fabrication (i.e. lying), she seems to be doing very well. In typical judgemental parent fashion, the class antagonists have been identified and after my daughter came home having been scratched by another girl (labelled by the teacher as having some behavioural concerns), stark warnings have been given on who not to play with (luckily my wife handles this aspect of school life better than myself, I have a more dated comprehensive school mentality to schoolyard conflict “if you get scratched, scratch back just harder so they know you aren’t to be trifled with”). Although I missed the first parents evening, I’m told this was glowing, it was followed by subsequent modern parental messages of ‘how proud we are of her’ etc; a far cry from my parent evening memories where I would wait at home and what my parents returned home with would denote my term performance: a McDonalds Happy Meal in hand, things have gone well, if they come in holding the belt, not so well (the ‘belt of knowledge’ being one the disciplinary measures that we have confined to history).
Our new-born twins have suddenly become smiling 6 month old milk and food guzzling machines. I’m sure Aptimil’s shareholders are smiling too given how much powdered milk our newest (and last) additions consume. Partial sleep deprivation means the past 6 months is still somewhat of a blur, but I’m sure it won’t be long before I have 2 more voices (to add to my wife and 4yr old’s) commenting on who they prefer on Strictly Come Dancing and pestering me to get a pet dog.
Work also steam rolls on, the appraisal period that brought with it the all too familiar groan regarding a lack of remunerative recognition for my contributions to bottom line (and made me flirt with the idea of looking for that Utopia role where financial reward and a work-life balance co-exist) seems a lifetime ago, and in between demanding projects and client deliverables, not enough thought has gone into career development and next steps.
Whilst we cannot control the speed at which our children age, the early Christmas tree spot has reminded me of the importance of taking that moment to pause, reflect and appreciate how our family continues to grow. From a work perspective, time to step out of the day-to-day and take control over where and how the career will evolve.
I’m sure the pound store that put that tree in the display window just wanted me to front end a few Christmas card and festive Toblerone purchases rather than spark such deep thought. Ah, well……."
Lawrence works as a Senior M&A Manager at a professional services firm in the city and is father to 3 gorgeous girls, a 4 (going on 14) yr old and 6 month old twins.
Category: A Cityfather's Diary