Once there was a mom, who went for the American Dream. She had a good job, and she did well. She drove a Mercedes-Benz.
The mom sometimes traveled for her job, and one day, at the pinnacle of her success, she boarded a plane for someplace she’d never been: glittering Las Vegas. Driving down the strip, she marveled at the sights, hanging her head out the window and swerving, until her business associate asked her to pull over and ride in the passenger seat.
“You should get out more,” said the business associate.
“Maybe so,” thought the mom.
In Las Vegas, the mom took photos, won awards, and made good memories, but when she got home, she noticed that her young son was unusually quiet. One afternoon, she saw him running down the hall, hiding something. Later, she quietly retraced his steps and found a crumpled drawing in the waste paper basket. Smoothing it, she went to find him.
“Tell me about your drawing,” she said, gently.
Her son looked embarrassed, but he began to point out trees and houses on the paper.
“And what is this?” asked the mom, pointing to a drawing of a hammer, something shattered into shards, and what looked like drops of blood.
The son hesitated. “That’s my broken heart,” he said, lowering his eyes, but not before the mom saw tears.
“Oh, sweetheart!” exclaimed the mom. “Why is your heart broken?”
“Because you’re never here.”
Ah, there it was.
The mom gathered her son into her arms. She comforted him. And she promised him that she would never forget what he told her that day.
The mom kept her promise. She taped the boy’s broken heart to her computer screen as a reminder. And she contacted her business associates and clients and announced her semi-retirement. She apologized to them for losing track and forgetting her priorities.
Years passed, and the boy grew. He is almost a senior in high school. The mom still devotes as much time to him as she can.
And guess what? The mom still has her good job. But now, she is so part time that she is almost a full-time mom. The budget is tight, because she doesn’t make much money (sometimes nothing). She sold the Mercedes long ago.
Occasionally, the mom wonders if she should get out more, but deep inside, she knows she did the right thing. She and her son are close. His heart is mended. And to this day, she still has his drawing.