I hate leaving, but I love coming home.
I leave just before 7 a.m. Before I go, I kiss my wife, my son and the dog. In that order. Then I drive 41 miles to work through the kind of hellish, soul-sucking traffic that leaves fingernail marks on the steering wheel and permanent scarring on my psyche. Work is good — honestly, I really like my job. But it’s still work. Which means it’s filled with deadlines, team huddles, conference calls, Powerpoint presentations, and stress. Because even when work is fun, it’s still stress. All that is followed by a 41-mile trek home, through the same gut-wrenching gridlock as in the morning.
By the time I get home I feel like the stop & go, stress-induced workday has torn away at my flesh like vultures. But I get out of the car and that’s when my day gets beautiful. Every day. When I get home from work, Will and Haley run to the window and Will shouts “DADA’S HOME!” while Haley woofs at me. And that’s the best part of my day, every single day.
Sure it’s true that 5 seconds after I get a delirious hug from Will he says or does something for which I have to yell at him. And yes, as soon as I step foot in the house Haley jumps up with muddy paws, ruining my clothes and simultaneously hitting me right in the nuts in her clamor for an ear scratch. But that’s OK. In fact, that’s what I want.
We suffered through four miscarriages to have Will. That’s a lot of heartbreak. But I knew we needed to keep at it because one day we’d have a gorgeous son or daughter who would light up my life on a daily basis and display unadulterated joy simply because I came home.
And Haley is our third dog. The first one ran away (or more specifically, was lost by my father while we were at a wedding…but I’m not bitter dad) and we never saw her again. The second was a neurotic Dalmatian who turned into a nutbag the minute we brought Will home. Which led to me walking in to volunteer at the dog shelter in Falmouth, only to be mauled by a lovingly crazed golden retriever who we later adopted. And now, more than five years later, she still gets just as excited every time I enter a room. She’s got nothing by love, loyalty and devotion 24/7 — which completely excuses the abundance of exuberant energy that leads to errant ball shots and lots of face licks.
I’m so friggin lucky to come home to love on a daily basis. And in case you were wondering, this is my view at approximately 6:30 p.m. Monday – Friday.