Monday, December 18, 2006

Some Tough Times Ahead

I think I have a varied audience. Besides me reading this blog, there are a few other people out there. At least one of you is from the Rio Grande Valley. The other two readers are probably legislative aides like me. If you are one of those legislative aides, you are either married or not. If not, you may be looking forward to exciting times in Austin with anticipation. If you are married, and going to Austin alone, you may be like me, dreading the day you have to leave.

I do look forward to the new experience and access to all the inner workings of our state government. There is something to be said for having a little influence on legislation. It's exciting to have access to the leaders of our great state. It's worth mentioning the possibility of making many new friends with other staffers, lobbyists, agencies, journalists, and anybody else who wants to get entangled in the affairs of the capitol. It all sounds great.

There is a bit of a sadness that is settling in me because I must go out there alone. I was prepared to leave for Wisconsin without my family this past summer. Fortunately, things worked out that they were able to go with me. Circumstances changed and it was a heartache to separate from our daughter to send her back to the Rio Grande Valley to go to school. We were reunited in October and we feel like a family. We are glad to be home and we are glad to be together again.

The day that I must leave for Austin is coming near. I'll be going by myself. After some discussion, Mrs. Mata and I determined that it would be too disruptive and expensive for all of us to go to Austin for a few short months. We're just going to have to tough it out.

I can tell you that January 2 will be a tough morning at home. Mrs. Mata will have to go to work on that day and I presume the children will still be on Christmas break. They'll probably stay with Grandma. You have to understand that just thinking about it makes me feel a lump in my throat. Do I drive off to Austin early before my wife leaves so she can remember my departure, or do I wait for her to leave and come back to an empty home? My wife is already preparing our son by letting him know that I'll be leaving. He has been following me everywhere lately, even if it's just to throw out the trash. I can't really be angry with him for being clingy because I know he does it out of love. The sadness on his face when we sent his sister home just broke our hearts all the more. I can't imagine how he will feel when his father leaves. I don't want to imagine.

Forgive me if I am a bit down on occasion. When you are a struggling family, all you have is each other. If you are a legislative aide and will be leaving your people behind, here is one fellow who will be sympathetic to your sacrifice. If you are single, consider yourself fortunate that you don't have to separate from your loved ones. I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy. I am pleased to meet any other parent legislative aides making the trip alone.
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