Dear Jo: Daddy’s Home

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March 26, 3 years A.B. (after-baby)

Dear Jo,

He’s home! He’s home! Paul is home! Of course his arrival home didn’t come without a hiccup. His flight out of Miami was delayed, so he missed his connecting flight out of Chicago. All day, you kept the flight tracker loaded on your computer and kept hitting refresh to see how close to home he was. Emerson learned how to hit refresh and sat in front of the computer, watching the dot inch a bit closer with each click.

Dear Jo: Daddy's Home

Thankfully Paul was so anxious to get home that he rented a car at the airport and drove home instead of waiting to be booked on another flight. Unfortunately there was no car tracker to stay up-to-date on his drive. Emerson did not want to go to bed without seeing Paul. You agreed to let him watch one more Thomas show before bedtime, but if Daddy wasn’t home yet, he was still going to bed after that extra show. Thankfully Paul walked through the door just as the final credits rolled. You thought Emerson might actually fall asleep on the couch, which would be a miracle in and of itself since sleep has never come easily or unintentionally for this child, but that didn’t happen. He soldiered on through the entire episode. When he heard the key turning the lock in the door, his eyes lit up and he let out a yell, “Daddy’s home!!” His chubby little feet padded to the door. He exploded into Paul’s arms as soon as the door swung open. Lyla was sleeping, but Emerson’s enthusiasm woke her.

“Sorry for waking Lyla,” Emerson said.

“It’s okay, Buddy. I know you’re happy to see Daddy.”

Paul put down his bags and jumped right into duty. You could see how tired he was, but he still hugged and kissed both kids before tucking Emerson into bed. You’re pretty sure he fell asleep in Emerson’s bed for a few minutes because when he came out to the living room, he looked like he had just woken.

Finally you got to kiss him and tell him you were happy he was home. With Lyla back to sleep in her bassinet, Paul laid his head on your lap. You began to run your fingers through his hair as he closed his eyes.

“How was your trip?” you asked, noticing a slight sunburn on his forehead.

“I’m just glad to be home. But what’s the smell?”

“Smell?”

“Yeah. Like a swimming pool.”

“Must be the bleach.”

“Right.”

You wanted to talk more about your week, the virus, Emily. You wanted to ask more questions, about the weather and the flight and the sunburn. But instead you rubbed his head as he fell asleep on your lap. You looked at his dark hair that was just as thick as it has always been, but now you noticed something new. Mixed in with his charcoal locks were random streaks of silver. And you wondered when that happened.

Dear Jo: A {fictional} Diary of a Modern Mom“Dear Jo: A Diary of a Modern Mom” is a serial fiction story written by Meagan Church. Stay tuned for the next diary entry of one mom’s attempt to chronicle what she has been told are the days she shouldn’t forget…spit-up, tantrums, milestones and all. Visit the Dear Jo page to catch up on the already-published entries. And, be sure to subscribe today, so you don’t miss a single installment:


 

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{Photo credit: ©Christin Lola.}

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