It’s 5:45 am. Do you know where your children are? Mine are tucked away, snug and sound in their beds. How do I know? I snuck into their room to kiss them each goodbye before heading out the door to work.
Today is Saturday. 6:15am to 4pm. Then back on from 5pm until around 10pm. We have a truck delivery this morning, a massive prep sheet, and it’s the busiest sales day of the week. We will have our work cut out for us for sure. Today will test my patience, my stamina, and my soul.
Why my soul? Because today I will only see my children for about 20 minutes. The rest of the day, Daddy will be at work. Though just a short 1/8 of a mile away, the distance feels much greater. I won’t lie. I will not miss the crying, the sibling fights, and the futile attempts of entertainment during “hell hour” before bath and bed. At least at work, I get paid for seperating people with egos and being yelled at.
It still doesn’t change the fact that I am missing my family terribly. My heart aches for the kisses, the hugs, the nosies, the laughs, and the fun times that I will be missing out on. I admit that I have even cried at work for the moments I have missed. Like Little Man’s first day of school. Yeah, I cried hard that day.
The 20 minutes I am home are filled with so much action that sometimes I think it is too fast for my weary brain to truly enjoy all that goes on. I fear I miss out on too much when my head is just not all there. There is so much love, gratitude, and sanctity in such a short amount of time that I am sure my heart will explode with joy someday soon.
Then it is immediately back to the grind. The short time I was home was not long enough, and seemed even shorter than it was. The night shift is another beast altogther from the days in my line of work. It is intense, it is busy, and it wears on even the toughest of men. When the dust has settled I make my way home. Physically tired but still wound up from the adrenaline, I take to my thinking couch.
The wife and I discuss our days. She shares of the fights, the struggle to entertain, and the increasing amount of time it takes the children to fall asleep at night. I speak of high sales hours, arguments on the cook line, and taking the fall for stuff that was out of my control. 45 minutes later we are dragging ourselves upstairs, tired, sleepy, and hopeful that the next day will be a better one.
The kids are tucked away, sound and snug in their beds. How do I know this? Because I give them each a kiss goodnight and tell them I will see them in the morning. Yes, I will admit that I also have the habit of purposely waking them up for a brief moment to let them actually see me, and possibly hear the four words that will save my day: I love you Daddy.