Well, I’m not quite sure how or when this happened, but it seems that overnight I have turned into my father! Now don’t get me wrong, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but somehow I just couldn’t help but crack a smile at one of my latest fatherhood adventures.
First a bit of background. Sadly, I’m not a Florida native. (GASP!) My friends however, have bestowed upon me the honorary title. Please don’t tell any one, but I’m originally from Massachusetts. When I was really young, my dad worked for the railroad, and landed a sweet job at Amtrak. The problem is that we lived in the western part of the state.. Err Commonwealth – Sorry for the slip up… While there are major highways, we pretty much lived on top of a mountain with very little access to highways, mass transit, or even a convenience store for that matter. Even when I visited Mom and Dad awhile back, it seems like getting anywhere seems to take forever. His sweet railroad job was roughly a 2 ½ to 3 hour commute each way!
If you do the math, you’ll quickly figure out that after a 12 hour or even 16 hour shift and the commute there isn’t much time for simple things like eating, sleeping, and family time during the week. Being just a small boy, I didn’t really understand this, and always wanted to stay up late to eat dinner with Dad. Unfortunately this added quite a bit of time to the eating process as a five-year old asks questions about your day, what you did and what you’ll be doing tomorrow. Don’t get me wrong, Dad never complained and while very tired, answered each and every one of my questions despite his strong desire to pass out at the dinner table to get some much-needed sleep.
So now we skip ahead to present day. My three-year old loves to ask me about my day, and what I did, and what I’ll be doing tomorrow. It quite honestly is the highlight of my day even though he rarely ever tells me about what he did in his day. It’s great because as I tell him every mundane detail, he seems genuinely excited about the meetings I’m in, my commute, and he always seems to say just the right thing to bring excitement into the conversation.
Recently I have embarked on an educational journey to obtain my MBA. I had the honor of being accepted to an incredible school (go Tars!) and God really has brought quite a bit together to make this happen in such a short time for my family and I. While in general my schedule will take me away from my family for at least two nights a week, this week I have a handful of days that I make the trek to Winter Park.
The last evening that I saw my oldest right before bed he made me promise that I would wake him up the next day when I get home. As any good dad would, I told him I would be more than happy to. Much to my surprise, he wanted to make sure he knew all about my day. So when I got home shortly before midnight last night my wife advised that she had strict orders from the Admiral to wake him up when I got home. (He was promoted from Captain Crank Pants shortly after his brother arrived) I attempted to keep my promise and even followed the standing orders. Of course he barely stirred when I went in to see him, and there was no waking him up.
So as I sat there saying goodnight to him, I couldn’t help but wonder if this was what my dad went through when he came home those nights that I just couldn’t stay awake long enough to say “Daddy’s Home!”. Somehow with this simple request of being woken up, I found myself woefully unprepared to fill my father’s shoes. I desperately wanted to shake him awake, turn on the light and tell him not only about my day, but what I had learned in school. Dad and I will need to have a conversation very soon just how he handled this very same situation day in and day out. Somehow I just couldn’t bring myself to really wake him up.
So here it is a very early morning, and I have successfully snuck out of the house without waking up either of my little guys. While this is good for me and I made the train on time, I can only imagine the wrath of my three year old when he tells my wife that she didn’t have me come in to wake him up last night!