Sunday, October 12, 2014

Playing Hooky

This past Thursday as I was getting dressed for work I looked over at my wife who hadn’t been feeling well all day. Besides me going to work it was also time for her to go pick our son up from school. She had been laying down and sat up and at that moment I knew what needed to happen. Still, I asked her if she was going to be okay and she merely shook her head no. Next I asked the all important question concerning my job, “Do I need to call in?” This time she nodded her head in the affirmative and asked “Can you?” It was now my turn to nod in the affirmative and I did call right after changing my clothes again. No sense in walking around in work clothes when I don’t have to. Then I was off to pick our son up.

Naturally he was surprised to see me but very happy as well. I informed him what was going on and we traveled back home so that he could change his clothes and get a snack. After checking his school work we left the house (my wife was soundly sleeping at this point and I didn’t want to wake her) and I treated him to a long overdue visit to our comic book store. Yes I did indulge him (and myself) before we blasted off for the library where I again indulged him and let him play on the computer there for over an hour. Oh yeah, we got some books too, that’s always important. We tried going to a park (okay two parks) so he could play for a few minutes before it got dark but it was no good, both were deserted, so instead we monkeyed around for as long as we could.

Returning home once again this time for some dinner we found my wife awake and feeling much better. Before getting ready for bed I went over my son’s spelling words with him so that he would be ready for his test the next day. It turned out to be a very relaxing and very different kind of night for me. I got to do things with my son that I normally don’t get to do on a weeknight because I’m always working. My wife usually helps him with his schoolwork and takes him places. I normally take him on the weekends to do stuff or we do it as a family. That made it all foreign territory for me but in a good way.

It almost felt like I was playing hooky from work even though I wasn’t. I was just taking care of my son and letting my wife rest. As a matter of fact it did remind of those times in high school when I did cut school for a day. Don't worry, it's not as if I was a horrible delinquent or anything. It's just that once or twice a year the pressure of dealing with everything that was high school and life would build up until I felt like I needed a break. So I’d stay home and my older sister Teresa would write me a note and forge our mother’s name on it and all would be well with the world. That’s what Thursday night felt like for me, a nice break where I was able to relax and enjoy my family and life.

It also served to underscore for me how fleeting these times are and if I go around putting things off or waiting for a better time I’ll miss a lot of things. I need to schedule a day off here and there occasionally so that our family can get together and enjoy our time together. Work can wait but doing things together that only helps to strengthen us as a family cannot wait. All you have to do is blink and time will pass you by and you’ll never get the chance to do it again. Thursday was my reminder, let’s hope I keep remembering and doing it. I owe it to them.

Written and Published by Don Leach. May not be used without permission from the author.

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