My apologies for being absent the past couple of weeks. My little son arrived on Tuesday, after 13 hours of hard labor that were almost as difficult as some grant application processes. We’re naming him Viet William Prinzing Le. We got lots of good suggestions for names, but the auctioning off the baby’s naming rights mentioned earlier…well, that was actually an April Fool’s joke. (Although, I think we may just do that if we have another kid, maybe get some corporate sponsors. “Doritos Shamwow Le” does have a nice ring to it).
I am sleep deprived, looking like an extra from the Walking Dead. I have not had more than two consecutive hours of sleep for seven days. Don’t worry, though, the poor sleep and exhaustion hasn’t been affecting me at yes, yes we would love a donation, Benjamin Franklin, thank you!
Huh? Sorry. Where was I? Oh yes, the baby. This has been one of the hardest few days of my life, trying to stay up to console the baby. For the first few days, he wouldn’t sleep without being held. Now he can for a short period of time, but once in a while, he jolts awake, and I have to tap him and say soothing things like “shhhhh, shhhh, Daddy’s here, and you don’t have to plan an annual dinner…” It is exhausting. And I have to learn all sorts of new stuff, like how to use cloth diapers (Since this is Seattle, the diapers are organic, gluten-free, and artisanal, made with hemp fibers). Having a baby changes you. Last week, I walked into the birthing center a boy. When I walked out, I was no longer a boy.
But a boy with an awesome baby! Sweeeet!!! Seriously, despite the exhaustion, the long nights, the hoarse voice, and the constant lingering smell of spit-up that surrounds me, this is one of the most amazing things I’ve ever experienced. How awesome is it, you ask? Since this is a nonprofit blog, I’ll try to put it into nonprofit perspective:
- It is more awesome than a funder that you don’t know emailing you asking you to apply to a grant, and then you apply, and then you actually get the grant.
- It is better than a four-day weekend where you don’t have any community meetings and you can just watch like an entire Season of Breaking Bad or Arrested Development.
- It is better than giving someone feedback, and then seeing evidence that they actually used it and you no longer want to smack them each time you see them.
- It is better than getting a thank-you note from a student saying how much your program has helped her, with terrible spelling and a sweet but horrible drawing of you.
- Better than checking your email and finding someone has made an online donation. Better than meeting your annual dinner goal. Better than that feeling you get the day after a major event when you still have so much crap to do but at least it’s over and you can go splurge on some ice cream.
- Better than a retreat that actually leads to a doable action plan that everyone is happy about.
- It is better than cleaning up your cubicle and finding a gift certificate for a dozen vegan cupcakes that someone gave you but you promptly lost because your cubicle is the Bermuda Triangle of documents.
- It is better than beating traffic and arriving early for a meeting, so early that you can take a 15-minute nap in your car in the sunshine and then waking up and freaking out thinking you may have overslept but then realizing you still have six minutes so you set your alarm for five minutes and go back to sleep.
Having a sweet little baby is better than all those things. And almost as good as a multiyear general operating grant.