Thursday, February 12, 2015

First-world problems

I swore when Samuel was born that I'd never complain about anything again for the rest of my life. Of course I don't actually adhere to that vow, but I do use it as a reminder to keep things in perspective. For the most part, I don't complain much.

I am feeling bad about something, and I'm not looking for sympathy, but I need to spill it.

Today Ethan heard back from private high schools he'd applied to, and he was only accepted to one, without financial aid. Which was better than them saying no, at least to Ethan.

He was wait-listed for a couple of others, including the school he really, really wants to go to.

He was likely wait-listed because we don't make enough money to afford the full tuition, but we also don't meet the criteria to be given a lot of financial aid.

Ethan feels rejected. He doesn't understand that it's not him they're rejecting. It makes me feel like a failure as a dad.

We all have to make compromises in life. I wanted to live on the Upper West Side of Manhattan instead of somewhere less expensive and with better public schools. I wanted to work in media instead of finance. I wanted to spend my spare time writing books and being a dad instead of working longer hours.

Nobody can say with a straight face that the powers of the universe dictate that their child deserves to go to private school. Set aside the fact that another child half a world away will get blown up by a suicide bomber tomorrow. We should be grateful we're living on the lucky side of the planet, that we have family and a home and a job, and that we actually have the opportunity to make the choices we do.

I just want Ethan to think that his dad can do anything. That sounds silly, but that's the crux of it. That's what's tearing me up inside.

Thanks for listening.


  1. If you didn't feel bad, you wouldn't be much of a father. [hugs] You only want the best for him, so you are awesome...Don't let anyone EVER tell you otherwise :)

    1. Thanks for the hugs, Scratch, I really appreciate that.

  2. You make excellent choices about prioritizing family which is the best thing any Dad can do.
    Hard Stop.

  3. Hey, if there's love, then all kids think their Dads are invincible, and nothing will mar that. And usually the Dad is the last one to know x
    ))Bear hug((