Friday, July 18, 2014

A Vacation Day...


With my wife and kid back home, I took a vacation day from work to catch up with my two favorite people. It was weird being off on a Wednesday, and the day itself started out like a Saturday, morphed into a Sunday, and then bounced back to hump day by evening. Not a bad deal.

The day was perfect from the moment I woke up. The sun was already out and the birds were singing an enchanting little...okay it wasn't much different. But as I lay in bed, listening to my son talking in his room, at least until I noticed my wife watching me stare at the ceiling grinning like a goofball. Everybody was happy to be home.

After breakfast, and some much needed vacuum time, we set out for some guy time at the park. I left my phone at home. We were flying under the radar. No pictures or social media. Just two guys roaming the world (or a three mile radius of our house, but you get the idea).
 
We started at the nature trails. I pushed Simon along in the stroller, but I could tell he wanted out, so instead we packed it up and tried the nearby school. That way I could let him roam around and play on the swing set and in those portable toilets he loves so much. 

And what a great idea that was--the school, I was kidding about the toilets--because as fate would have it, we pulled up to find a hot air balloon hovering right there in the football field.

Yeah, what timing. A big, fat, colorful balloon was just sitting there, waiting for us as we got out of the car. Kids were laughing and cheering along on the track like they were at a parade. It was a parenting jackpot.
 
I reached for my phone, but then remembered we were off the grid, which was good because instead I just watched the reflection of the balloon in the gleam of his wide open eyes. We never made it near the field because he was content to just stand there and stare. The balloon was anchored down with ropes and only going up a few feet for rides in the basket. But to him it may as well been a rocket launch.
 
After a while, we did end up going to the park where we slid the slides and ran around and he pointed out every morsel of trash. Later that afternoon, we went for a neighborhood walk and then took a family trip to the grocery store. 
 
Was it Disney Land? Nah. Sea World? Nope. The carnival? Only if you count the one inside my head. But it was exactly what this dad needed.
 
The day was perfect. I mean sure, it wasn’t without some fits and tantrums and a few tears. But we got through it. And while I don’t have the greatest job in the world, I am fortunate to have those days to take off, because time can be the greatest gift of all. 
 
Okay, enough clich├ęs. But I'm thinking that taking vacation days to be with my son sounds like a really good idea. Because looking back, I’ll remember his face watching that balloon. And that I was there, and I was trying. And that a four day work week isn't too shabby...

  

 

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