So it came to pass early today, on a freezing, drizzly morning, that Google notified me that my journey to drop my daughter off at school on time was off to a 5 minute late start. We hurried out the door and made our way onto the highway that was jam-packed with autos all rushing as best they could.
Flashback: Carter, a cute, cuddly plush toy that somehow survived my 7 year old’s childhood and was immediately adopted by baby sister. Carter’s fur is no longer quite as plush. He, it, survived the teething of two children and for the most part is still as cute as he was when he/it first joined our household 7 years ago.
I admit, I hate running late. I hate being misdirected. I hate dealing with traffic (as such, I take great pains to ensure my time on the road is minimized to the necessary minutes required for delivery and drop-off and employment arrival). So when I heard those words I knew right then and there what had happened. I cringed. Then in the milliseconds between my breaths I went through every scenario that I knew a frustrated dad could go and none of them ended pretty. So instead, I looked her in the eyes through the rearview mirror and I said, “Let’s go get him!” with a sincere smile and adventurous voice.
At that moment I saw the relief in her eyes. She knew that her daddy was not mad, we exited the highway and got back on via a turnaround. When I quizzed her about where Carter might be, she said “asleep on the couch”. Pulling up into the garage I entered our home and retrieved our sleeping Carter to the joys and smiles of a contented little girl. Arrival time at school 8:44 (14 minutes later than usual). Arrival time at work 9:12 am, no rushing, no dashing on the highway, only the feeling of contentment knowing that my little girl had a wonderful start to her day and so did I.