Friday, May 10, 2013



     Marty and I were out of town for four days. Driving back from Sacramento, we were ready to see our kids. They would be in school when we pulled in, so we would have to wait for that bell to ring before we could squeeze them. Max is the first one dismissed, so we waited, counting down the minutes. He was one of the first out of his class and a big smile spread across my face. As soon as he saw us, he ran as fast as his little legs could take him right into my arms. I scooped him up and the tear ducts went to work. I put him down so he could greet his mom and the hugging was long and lingering. Ella was next on our list. I saw her jogging down the hallway, eyes peeled for her parents. Her jog turned into a sprint when she spotted us and she flew into my arms. Again, I passed her on to her mom so the love fest could continue.
     Julia didn't get out until a half hour later, but I couldn't wait. I knew her class was usually milling around the room this time of day doing busy work, so I poked my head in to catch a glimpse of my firstborn. Her back was to me and I paused for a moment, not sure if I should say anything. Some of her classmates saw me and watched with anticipation because I usually try to embarrass her in some way, so they know the drill. Instead, all I said was, "Julia." She turned around and said, "Dad," then she bolted from her desk and jumped on me like she was 3 years old again. I couldn't contain the tears. I had wondered if she was going to be "too cool" to display any kind of emotion when we picked them up, but she proved our strong connection by leaping into my arms in front of her whole class. It was an early Father's Day present, and as I recalled the moment throughout the day, I got choked up. It's always nice to have a little break from the kids, but there's nothing better than the reunion.
     We were all kind of quiet after picking up Julia, just wallowing in the moment, I guess, but as we walked to the car, I uttered, "All is right with the world."

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