I open my eyes and slowly turn towards the clock – ‘04:21AM’ in the brightest green numbers ever lit – great, the alarm is supposed to go off at 04:30AM but instead I reach over and turn it off…some form of space-time continuum phenomenon occurs and ‘seconds’ later, the clock now reads 05:05AM – what the hell? And so my day begins…
After a quick shower and quicker attempt at shaving, I put on my suit and tie and run through my imaginary checklist: badge – check, wallet – check, iPhone – check, glasses – check (believe it or not, I have actually made it to work without them somehow). That’s it. Ready to go.
But before I leave, I walk over to the king sized ultra-plush bed which still looks warm and seems to be calling my name. Oh, I’ll be back. I will be back. There on the nightstand is the baby monitor. I pick it up and watch it cycle through the cameras. First there is my “big girl” Careena sound asleep and sprawled out in every direction as usual. Wait for it – camera 2 – there’s My Hailee sleeping sideways and uncovered in her crib. Her hands are moving a little, is she waking up already? I wonder if Heather gave her a bottle yet. Nope. (I know this because if she had, the empty bottle would be sitting on the TV stand by our door – that’s our system you see) One…more…cycle…through…to see both girls before I leave. Hailee is still down and quiet so I softly put down the monitor and lean over to give their beautiful Mother a soft kiss on the forehead…being oh so careful to not wake anyone.
As I dodge the toys, cat, and gate in total darkness, and make my way downstairs, I remember I am actually running about 30 minutes late. No breakfast or coffee for me today thanks! I grab the keys and head out the front door.
And BAM!! Holy $&*#!! I forgot to disarm the house alarm and 140 decibel piercing, screeching, nauseating squeal sounds off like the wake-up call of all wake-up calls! What appear to be search lights from Alcatraz search the perimeter and skies looking for escapees. The SWAT team and hostage negotiator are on scene in moments. Cheeze and rice! Is that blood dripping from my ears? Oh wait, that was just a hallucination caused by the inner ear damage and ringing in my head. I run back to the panel and silence the alarm. I can’t believe I did that – again…for the third time. I stand motionless. Did it wake anyone up? No crying – except for me. No movement upstairs. All is good…
My 35 minute drive to the DC Metro station is typical and I only see two accidents and encounter moderate traffic. I ride in silence – no music or radio talk show. I use this time to reflect. To think. To plan. To…damn it, my exit! I drive a big truck for a reason and bully my way to the far exit lane. I pull into the parking garage and end up down in level G 4 at the far end of the garage. Whatever, I need the exercise anyways (as I am often reminded). As I perform the ‘dance of the sugarplum fairies’ to back my truck into what turns out to be a “compact cars only” parking spot I curse the fact that I still have not fixed or replaced my back-up camera. Finally, with the truck parked I am on my way to the Metro.
Two stops and about 6 minutes later I am at the Pentagon. As I start the short walk to my office I realize I forgot my lunch and start to question whether or not I locked my truck. And did Hailee actually wake up? I left without giving her a bottle. And Careena’s bedroom is right above the garage. Did she wake up when I started the truck? If one or both of them are up, they are probably crying for their Mom. That means Heather is up – way too early. I wonder when she will call me. I can’t wait to see pictures of my girls! I wonder what they are going to do today. Did Heather say they had a play date or errands to run? Wait, was I supposed to do something? Meet them somewhere after work maybe?
And then later when I get the pictures and the phone calls and hear their voices, I spend the rest of the day watching the clock, waiting impatiently for the work day to be over. There is nothing more special than seeing my girls faces when I walk through the door after a long day at work and hearing their tiny voices, “Daddy’s home!”
But that’s just a day in the life from This Dad’s View.
Does your workday allow you to talk to your family? It is what gets me through my days…
Ohh the alarm!!! Its’ soooo loud! I’ve done that once in the morning and thankfully the boys slept through it too! Phew!
Mike, I’m lucky in that I work from home, and I don’t envy those of you who have to negotiate the beltway. It is nice having little ones who can’t wait for their time with dad. It goes all too quickly.
Matt I apologize for not replying sooner. The commute is just one more thing that takes time away from the family. You can measure the minutes and hours, but not the impact or affect of that time “lost.” So we just try to make the best of every moment. But for the record, I DO envy your ability to be home! That is one of my near-mid term goals!