Last night, I was telling my eldest son how much I missed seeing him in the morning. Now that I have a new job with a much longer commute, I’m out of the house long before anyone wakes up. Sometimes my daughter does get up while I’m still there, but it’s only to crawl in bed with my wife. She’s mostly zombie-like, shuffling into the room, under the covers and back to sleep without a word.
My oldest son and I used to bond in the morning over bowls of Fruity Pebbles. I used to drive him to daycare and entertain him with a cast of characters that lived in the glove box of my Jeep. Now I just write him funny notes on the kitchen chalkboard, so he can read them while shoveling the pebbles down without me. I’m on the Schuylkill around that time and I don’t like it.
These tiny shifts are part of parenting, I guess, the slight separations that help children branch off from the main river and find their own way. They get used to not seeing you as much and that helps them get on the bus the first time, or off to college or boot camp. I still don’t like it.
This morning though, when I got out of the shower, he was standing in the hallway, drowsy and wrapped in his sleeping bag, Clancy, so I could see him before I left.