Tuesday, January 17, 2012

G'nighnigh, Daddy!

There are few things in life as humbling and terribly moving as the realization that you are important in the life of a little child. Even more when it's your own child.

I recently returned from a rather exhausting 5 day business trip that had me in a different time zone every night. The entire time I was counting the minutes until I would see my boys and my wife again. As it turns out, they were doing the same. Both boys - each in their own way - showed me how much they missed Daddy.

Rocco was up when I got home and he couldn't seem to contain himself when I picked him up. He was dancing and wiggling and giggling (he's normally doing all or some combination of those things, but this time it was with a special joy). He kept giving me hugs and those sloppy, slobbery kisses 1 year olds are known to dish out. I was more than happy to take all he wanted to give.

Killian was napping when I got home so his moment came later that night. We three boys spent the afternoon wrestling and running around the house shooting imaginary guns and playing with "da guys" (any action hero qualifies). When it came time for bed, we tucked him in and I said as I do countless times each day, "I love you, Killian." My little 2 year old whose normal language is a stream of gibberish punctuated by individual words looked up at me and said very clearly, "I love you, daddy."

I was floored and looked at my wife who was in a similar state of joyful shock. He had never said something so clearly. I went back in to give him another kiss and say goodnight. He one-upped me and said, "I miss you. G'nighnigh daddy."

It was one of those moments when everything makes sense. When I realized that, despite all my failings and how insignificant I am, I'm very important in the eyes of two little boys. And that's more than enough to keep me going.

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