I love coming home from work. I thoroughly enjoy my job, and the nature of my customers leaves me feeling rewarded. But I live for my family, and anticipate the moment I walk through the door, set my coat and bag down and throw my arms open wide to shouts of ‘daddy!’ and ‘daddy’s home!’ mixed with laughter and squeals of delight from my ten month old son!
That is until yesterday. Now I have some hesitation, even low grade fear. It seems daddy is not always all he’s cracked up to be as my kids so thoroughly demonstrated to me at my usual afternoon greeting.
Once through the door, it was my dog who came to greet me. (Man’s best friend indeed!) I walked up the steps and kissed my wife hello and waited for the parade to begin. My eager ears anticipated the sounding of my name, but the only word I heard was, “Balloons!” I called out, hoping that the sound of my voice would incite those emotions of joy and exuberance. No response. I peaked around the corner to see Pax tugging wildly at the string to his balloon, his eyes never wavering from its shiny Mylar surface. Ella too was enthralled at her own bunch of balloons. When I tried to reach in to give her a hug, resistance began and she demanded I release her to get her balloons.
What makes it worse is that these were not even new balloons that they had gotten that day. They were leftover balloons. They were from Ella’s birthday party almost a week ago. Talk about low!
Now, I know, I can’t be the talk of the town every night. But playing second fiddle to something as boring as leftover balloons? You understand then if I open the door a little slower now that my anticipation has burst like a…well, you know.