Thursday, March 04, 2010

Rated "M" For Mushy

If you had a pulse in 1983, then you are already aware of the Journey song “Faithfully.” For those of you less fortunate, or who have lived under a rock or in outer space for various periods of time including 1983, let me fill you in: the Journey song “Faithfully” was quite popular in 1983.

With me? Good. I’ll move on.

Flash forward to Tuesday night. I had just pulled six days of long hours and late nights at work. Now, I love my job. Sometimes you have to do what it takes to get things done. I understand that, and was glad to do it. But the fact remains: I did not see my family for any reasonable or meaningful stretch of time for six days.
I got home at about eleven. My wife was waiting up for me, watching TV. To give you an idea of how tired she was – looking after a nineteen-month-old 24/7 by yourself for six days will do that to you – let me just say that the channels were flipping, but she wasn’t really watching. I could DEFINITELY relate.

But that’s not nearly as important as how she looked to me. I fell in love with her all over again in the space of about three minutes. She had no idea she was having this effect; most likely she was thinking about nothing in particular, the way you do when you’re halfway between Earth and Dreamland.

Flash forward again to the next morning. Whoa, there’s my son. I almost forgot I had one. He blurs into my line of sight. Blurs back out all smiles, giggles and precociousness. I chase him into the living room and throw myself down on the carpet. We play legos. We dance. We roll around. We trade cars and trucks. We wrestle. We make faces through the French door windowpanes.

And then, there it is. The moment. A father’s bliss; a moment we all live for. He pauses between the legos and trucks strewn willy-nilly, and falls to a sitting position, like toddlers do. His eyes lock into mine, followed by a huge smile full of fledgling teeth. He’s slightly out of breath. His mood is contagious. I feel it too.

Joy.

That’s when the Journey song streaks across my mind like a wayward comet. There’s a line in there that I’ve always loved: “I get the joy of rediscovering you.”

Because it’s not about how busy you are. How flustered. How behind, rushing to catch up. It’s not about the mortgage, or the fence out back that needs mending. It’s not about the alternator that’s about to go out on the Nissan. Or the cell phone and TV bills being too high. It’s not about the work I spent six days doing.

It’s about that light in my son’s eye. That beauty I find only in my wife. And rediscovering it after a long time away.

That’s the stuff.