Coming Home

You’ve all had “that day.”

You’re at work and nothing goes right. Maybe you did something wrong and your boss called you on it. Or, even more frustrating, maybe you did everything right and your boss is still giving you shit. Perhaps you deal with customers all day and had the misfortune of interacting with some real jerks. Whatever the reason, we all have those days at work when everything goes wrong. And if you’re someone like me who takes everything personally, sometimes it’s nearly impossible to leave work stress at work, and invariably you end up taking it home with you.

In the past, these bad vibes would cling to me like an Acme magnet in a cartoon. They’d follow me right into the house and end up wreaking havoc with my personal life. I’d be short tempered, MJ would take offense to it and we’d end up in a stupid fight for no reason at all.

I had one of those days last week. I got home before MJ and Will, and despite knowing I needed to shake things off, I couldn’t. I could feel myself slipping into a negative funk, unable to let what happened at work roll off my back. The inevitable fight this would cause was playing in my head like a movie reel. I cringed at the thought of it but didn’t think I could do anything about it.

I saw MJ pull into her parking spot down the hill. She got out of the car, let Will out of his carseat and grabbed a few bags. I figured I should help her. As I walked down the hill toward her I was already preparing to bitch about my day and unload everything on her, when my negative thoughts were pierced by a joyful little chirp.


Will had spotted me, and immediately began running up the hill to greet me with open arms and a huge smile on his face. He ran at me full speed and threw his arms around my legs and buried his head between my knees. Then he tilted his head up at me and puckered  up for a kiss.

And just like that, everything else dissolved. All the negativity and angst I had been feeling all day was gone in an instant, with nothing more than one toothy smile and a hug from the person I love most in this whole world.

Over the weekend I was talking to a friend who is thinking about having kids. He was worried about such a huge lifestyle change and how a child uproots your life. And he’s right, it’s a huge change. Sleepless nights, screaming, worrying, diaper changes, 2 am feedings, no vacations…those are all part of the deal when you sign the parental contract. But the upside is an adorable little boy who is so thrilled to death by your mere presence that he wants nothing more than to just be near you. It’s getting to watch him sleep as you run your hands along his fingers, toes and through his hair, wondering how the hell you ever created something so amazing.

All you need is to experience one moment like that one and you’ll know why having kids is worth all the excruciatingly hard work. No matter what else happens in your life, you’ll always want to come home.

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9 thoughts on “Coming Home

  1. Just try not to raise him to be too much like you. Walking in the house to deadpan doesn’t have the same effect. Although…sometimes it does.

  2. And as someone who follows their son faithfully during the DY football season but doesn’t at all follow the NFL, I find your last tweet unnecessarily harsh.

  3. JEE: Oh c’mon, you want me to treat those kids any differently than the players on an NFL team. The harsh criticism now will only help them later! It’ll put hair on their chests.

  4. And then they grow up, and you are back to bitching at each other…until this amazing grandson comes up and smiles at you and is so glad to see you (even if it is just because you will take him outside to hit the ball)…

    So I hear ya!

  5. I couldn’t have said it any better. There are so many times I just want to scream and bitch, but then Evan (10 years old) will walk over and give me a kiss on the cheek – completely out of the blue. And all is right with the world.

  6. So sweet! And (from what I understand from others who have children) so true!

    I’m hoping that some of my married friends start cranking out kids soon. I want someone to spoil, damnit!

  7. Having experienced moments like these, I know exactly what you mean. Children are amazing, even if they are the hardest job in the world. They are well worth it. I want to hug both of mine right now.

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