Every morning my dog and I go for a walk. We pass the same homes everyday and have a wave and nod relationship with most of the neighborhood.
Sunday morning we went out a little later than usual and the weather was simply spectacular. At 10Am it was already in the 60s and a perfect clear day. We passed a house that is on our usual route and the dad came out the front door in his golf clothes carrying his clubs to the car. He seemed rushed and trying to make a getaway.
As we passed by, his young son – maybe 3 or 4 – opened the front door of the house. He was wearing his pajamas and carrying a blanket. He was a classic portrait of cute. He called out the door, “DADDY! DADDY!”. The dad seemed rushed and did not answer. Again, the kids yelled, “Daddy, Daddy! I love you!”
And again the dad did not answer. I could not bear to look at that little face.
In all fairness, I have been that dad. Well, no penis, so I guess I have been that parent. I know what it feels like to have been up at the crack of dawn with little kids after working all week. I have done many a let’s play brio trains, let’s do puzzles, be my horsey, fall asleep on the rug with a pile of legos stuck to my face still clutching my coffee cup kind of morning. I have known the years when you die to grab a few hours to yourself. In this guy’s defense it was a gift of an extra golf day in November. And with the age of his son, there would be years of Daddy I love you’s still left.
But I wanted to stop him and tell him that although these mornings seem to go on forever they actually disappear so quickly. To let him know that before he turns around little Mr. Daddy I Love You will sleep till noon, wake up and inhale large quantities of food and then grab his keys to go out with his friends leaving you at the door thinking quietly to yourself, “Bye son, I love you.”
This Time to Cry Tuesday goes out to my friends and readers with young kids to remind you that it goes fast. And even though they grow up and still tell you they love you – my kids do at the end of each and every phone call and email – nothing is quite the same as being the center of their little pajamed, blanketed universe.
While on the topic of appreciating every moment, I am linking to the most moving post I have ever read. It was written by a reader/blog friend, Suzen of erasing the bored. She is the mother of a soldier that thank goodness has finished 6 years of service in the Army and is home safely. She bravely shares her experience of sending her son off to war. Suzen’s heartfelt account is beyond description. She is, as I told her, my hero. On the eve of Veteran’s Day please keep all the children of military parents in your hearts and prayers. And let’s remember that no matter what your politics, there are families out there who need our support.