The other night, I came home late from coaching football, and my kids were watching cartoons after my daughter had done her homework and they’d all eaten dinner. I was exhausted and drained; too little sleep, too much to do and everything in between was weighing on my mind.
It was one of those days where it’s too cold, too rainy and too blah – the flipside of the mostly-glorious early-fall weather we’ve been enjoying – and for a moment, I’d forgotten what was important, and the big picture is being blocked by a rain cloud. In fact, that rain cloud had just been over my head the whole day.
One of those days – everybody has them, right?
I walk in the front door and there’s no reaction from the kids at first. Then, they hear the door shut and all heaven breaks loose.
First, my daughter runs up and gives me the great, excited face you get from kids who are honestly elated – and it was for me.
‘Daddy!’ she hollered. “Daddydaddydaddydaddy,’ as she jumped in for the big hug. Then my son echoed her ‘daddydaddydaddydaddy,’ and I’ll be darned if that rain cloud over my head didn’t disappear in record time.
It was about 6:45 p.m., and my kids go to bed about 7:45 every night, give or take a few minutes, so we spent the next hours wrestling, tickling and just hanging out. Most of it was a blur with soundtrack of peals of laughter.
We did nothing truly memorable, but it was what I believe families need to bond and become a unit – small, happy memories, instead of giant ones that may or may not put pressure on everybody it involves; I’ve been there –‘you will have a great time if it kills you, young man’ – and this was the exact opposite. No one was dressed up, nothing was fancy, and everybody was having a great time.
That’s my kind of party. The bonding that takes place in these moments is organic, and has everything to do with
It was glorious. At the risk of sounding sappy, there was nowhere else in the world I would rather have been – unless the four of us were someplace warm and sunny together in the dead of winter.
Soon, Thanksgiving will be upon us, and West Islanders will join with many other North Americans – the Americans will do it in late November – and give thanks for the wonderful blessings that have been bestowed upon us.
Some will give thanks for material possessions, some for good health and a comfortable life, others will give thanks for their families – and I can certainly include myself in that group.
I will be copiously giving thanks for my wonderful, loving family, without whom my life would be distinctly less great.