Hazel is a turner-over of objects that hold liquids – yes, a spiller. A cup of prized juice here, round three of antibiotics there, and whilst high-fiving her sister in congratulations for me praising her for eating breakfast, a rarity, the last bowl of her new “favorite” cereal. Yah, we had THAT kind of morning. And while we work through the chills and thrills of four year-old spills, this tip put me out the door later than usual.
Late enough, to observe kids standing in circles on bus stop corners or finding their way to school with the hand-locked help of parents and siblings. It also happened to be the first morning I squarely looked at moving images reflecting last year’s ritual, a daily occurrence when my sole job was taking care of our girls.
As I drove by unusually slow to freeze the feelings, I remembered the nubby handled grasp of our flip-seat red wagon, smell the morning’s yawn soaked in exhaust, and taste those first sips of coffee that welcomed conversations with our neighbors.
Then, I saw the cross-guard, shook my head, sipped my tea, and, without hesitation, game-planned the day.
Not sure why, but I made myself feel guilty for moving on so quick. Why didn’t I spend the next minutes poking an index finger into my eye, hours thinking about “the good old times”, and days wondering if we made the right decision for me to head back to work?
I simply had a brief moment and moved on. This wasn’t like me.
Honestly, I thought I’d be writing about a side-of-the-road-wobbly-voiced phone call to Robin, a sentimental piece about never being able to go back to a time when things seemed so good, about soaking up the days with our kids, and wondering about life changing decisions. Asking you, the reader, if you’ve ever quickly turned back after leaping into a life change. How long do you stick with it?
No, surprisingly, I feel as though we move on, glimpsing at others in the midst of where we’ve been, and allow those images to jog memories knowing our heads hold the highlights.
Perhaps, the next time the last cup of coffee, a reheat of yesterdays, is knocked off the counter making me run later than usual I’ll keep my cool, knowing it’ll afford me a reminder of a good moment in time.
Our mix-tape needed some hip-hop. Here is one of my favorite, and clean, songs by Aesop Rock “No Regrets”. I’d love to always live like Lucy.
Andrew Meyer is a Special Education teacher from Madison, Wisconsin, whose wife’s job relocation changed their family roles and physical location. He's now a stay-at-home dad in Madison, Alabama, to two awesomely creative, sometimes challenging, and mostly sweet five and two-year-old girls who fill his days, nights, and in-between spaces. When with or without them, he writes, works-out, wonders, wishes he wouldn’t worry, wrestles with his wife’s commitment to her job, and listens to music. You can also find him at www.papasense.wordpress.com, on Twitter @papasense, and Facebook.