Instead of brunch, I spent the day sitting in a hospital waiting room with my son. He'd hurt his arm the previous Thursday, but hadn't been too fussed by it. It was nicely bandaged up, but I was getting suspicious by the fact that a few spots were tender, but most movement was okay, so I didn't think it was a sprain, but perhaps a fracture. Sure enough, a bone is broken, and he's now sporting a cast, and I'm feeling like a heel for not having it attended to earlier. But I suppose I walked around on a fractured pelvis for three days too, till I told my mum it was hurting badly enough to warrant a trip to the doctor's.)
Instead of talking writing with my SuperNOVA friends, I got to do some reading, some people watching and thinking about issues (mainly to do with hospitals, funnily enough). Perhaps it was important to my son that I gave up my brunch (which he knows I value) for him. Too often he makes the accusation that I put my work (whether it's my teaching or my writing) before him. This time he was first. It's often a matter of priorities. If I have to have student papers marked, I have to have them done, and I'll stay home to do them rather than attend the family picnic. It's just the way I've been brought up to be: my dad's working class work ethics: work hard and never take a day off sick unless you're nearly dying. But family is important too. We have to make time for them.
When I was early on my journey of taking my writing seriously and with small children, some of my friends would tell me to always put my family first, that I'd never regret it. My impatience didn't allow me to always do this. But I've never put it so far in front that it sidelines my family either. Both are important to me. I don't always strike the right balance, but I try. That's all any of us can do, really.