Yesterday was a tough day. Blair needed to leave early. It was Monday which meant I had staff meeting and I needed to prepare for it. And I needed to get the kids to The Hut, their summer childcare at the church.
“Can we have homemade waffles, dad?” asks my seven year old Bethany.
I say, “No. You will have sugary cereal that has not one gram of nutritional value and will probably cause cavities and I will need you to slurp it down quickly.”
I drop them both off. During staff meeting there is a knock on the conference room door. It’s one of Katie’s teachers. “Katie’s not feeling well.”
I tell the staff to hold tight and I’d be right back. I set Katie up in my office with Netflix and she grabs my trash can in case she gets sick. After we finish our meeting, Blair calls me. “I hear Katie’s sick.”
“How did you know? It’s like you have a radar. But don’t worry. She’s got a trash can.”
“What? I’m going to call my mom.”
And my mother-in-law Jo Ann is at our house in twenty five minutes. I gather Katie’s things up and take her home to be with Jo Ann, who has already started washing a load of our clothes.
I return to church and I get settled in my office and I get another call from Blair. “Bethany ran into a pole. Can you check on her?”
I hustle across the street to find Bethany sitting with her friends and holding an ice pack. She’s got a shiner on her right eye. Her teacher tells me, “She was playing Marco Polo in the fellowship hall and had her rain jacket over her eyes. She ran into one of the columns.”
I drive her home. Jo Ann has cleaned out and reorganized our refrigerator. I set Bethany up with her iPad and she starts playing a game where another character is shooting her character with a gun. “Bethany, you can’t play games with guns.”
“I play it all the time dad.” I have a meeting that runs late that night at the church. Blair will be at a work function hosting colleagues at a Braves game.
Jo Ann says, “Will, I’ll take care of dinner tonight. You go to your meeting.”
The meeting is a good meting but it runs long. I open the back door at 9:30 and the girls are on the couch watching, Britain’s Got Talent and laughing. “What about America?” I ask.
Jo Ann has bathed the dog and cleaned the dishes from their dinner of mac and cheese because that’s what we had left in the pantry after being on vacation the last couple of weeks. Katie has miraculously recovered and is bouncing on the bed after I shewed them upstairs and said thank you to JoAnn. Bethany attaches herself to my leg so I can’t lead her to her room. And I know in this moment that one day I’ll say, “This is the best day I never want to have again.”
But instead I call Blair and say, “Hurry. It’s getting ugly.” I get these sweet girls to bed and even have time for a song with them on Alexa. I fall into bed and before I know it Blair is waking me up. It’s 11:30pm. And she looks at me and says, “I’m sorry about today. I got you something.” She pulls out this black box and I open it. And there in all of its sparkling bling is an Atlanta Braves World Series Championship replica ring. And I slide it on my finger and drift calmly to sleep.
The next morning I woke early and cooked waffles.