It's been almost a month since my last chicken post and in that time my life has undergone a dramatic shift. It might be a little cliché to say so, but my life has changed in ways that I never could have imagined only a few short months ago. With the birth of my son came a whole new set of responsibilities and emotions. And here I sit, 23 days removed from the arrival of my firstborn, still amazed by the gift of new life. This, by far, is the coolest thing I have ever done. I would like to introduce Boone Vincent Smith, born at 4:18 AM on April 17th, 2012. He came into this world wide eyed and inquisitive and his thirst for life is an important lesson to remember. There is always more to learn no matter how old we get. We all started the same way and we will all end in the same way. It's the in between part where we get to differentiate ourselves. I hope that Boone experiences a life of adventure and discovery. That he is surrounded by people who love him and never hold him back. That he dreams big and shoots for the stars. And as my friend Ian said, "May he know world peace in his lifetime."
I love this picture because it was taken only about 30 minutes after he was born. I see a curious boy who is excited to learn about his new world.
The last 3 weeks have in fact seemed like one very long day. You see, as any freelancer knows there are pros and cons to having so much flexibility and freedom in your day to day life. I remind myself each day how fortunate I am to do what I do. I love my job and my lifestyle, but it doesn't come without sacrifice.
Timing is everything right? Well, the timing of the birth of my son happened to coincide with an extremely busy work schedule. Normally, when a child arrives the respective parents can say, "Time out. We're on leave." I had planned to do that to a certain extent, but when you have a really slow month and you have bills to pay, you take the work as soon as it comes. And it came in droves, which I'm very grateful for. However, one of the hardest things I've ever done was to leave my newborn son and my recovering wife to travel for a job. I knew they would be fine and that our support network would be there to pick up my slack, but man was it difficult. But it had to be done. Otherwise I might be looking for a full time job now.
In the first 14 days of Boone's life, I was away for 5 nights. I worked on and shot projects for 3 educational clients, one healthcare client, a Canadian hat company and a construction company. That's six projects in 2 weeks with 3 of them requiring overnight travel. Yeah, timing is everything.
I'm on the back end of things now and can say that it was difficult timing. But now that I've had the past 7 days to hang out with Boone and Larissa, it was well worth the stress. A freelancer's life is not easy, but it is rewarding. I'm excited to have the flexibility to always be there for my son. I'm excited to take work breaks to take him and our dog for a walk. I'm excited to have the daily reminder that there is much more to life than work. And I'm excited to see in what ways he inspires me as he grows and learns.