Both my parents were working when I was a kid and my dad always used to come home later. I remember very clearly the excitement when I heard his keys in the door at around eight in the evening. My brother, our dog Bobby and I would all rush to the door to welcome him. We'd give him a big hug and then rob him of the chocolate bar he brought us.
|My father and me at my wedding in 2008|
My father and I were not very close. He had much more in common with my big brother as they both loved basketball and hanged out more together. Yet I still remember to his day how excited I was every night when he came home and how much I enjoyed hugging him. There is something very nurturing and primal about parents hugging their offsprings. With one quick hug a father tells his child: "I love you, I am here for you, I will take care of you" - without having to say it or explain what it actually means.
And now I find myself on the other side of that hug and it is utterly amazing.
After being mostly a stay at home parent with some freelancing and part time work, I have now been working full time for over two months. I was afraid that it would change my relationship with Blake and hurt the great bond we had, but I was very happy to discover that I was wrong.
For one thing, I get home a little after five, so I still get to spend a lot of time with him every day. I give him dinner, wash him and put him to bed. I teach him to read, I tell him stories and play games with him - electronic and otherwise. We go to the swimming pool every Sunday. So he repays me by remaining my shadow whether I like it or not. 80% of the time I like it. The other 20% of the time I just suck it up like a man. I got used to watching television or play videogames with Blake playing loudly the annoying Angry Birds music right next to my face with his two iPods.
Going back to work was great because I like what I'm doing and the people I work with, but I also appreciate being home more. When I walk in the dogs are first to welcome me because they are faster, but Blake is never far behind. He melts my heart with a smile and I pick him up for a big long cuddle. He would then steal my hat and try it on.
|Blake and Papa|
Those hugs. I cannot put a price on them. I know they will not last forever and I cherish each and every one of them. At that moment, during a hug, I feel like the luckiest man alive.
And I wish Blake that one day he would get to find himself on the other side of that hug too.