I gotta tell ya, I'm not a big fan of going to work. But I love coming home. Because when I get home and my little boy sees me, his whole face lights up, he gets real excited, and he starts chirping "Da Da Da Da." It's a greeting I never grow tired of. After that, Henry and I play on the floor while Ash recounts their day to me, good, bad, or blah. Then dinner, where Henry hopefully eats more than he flings or drops on the floor for the dog. On paper, they're not the most exciting evenings, but every now and then I give myself the gift of remembering to be grateful for them, remembering just what a huge gift a family is, that there are some out there who have to fight very hard just to keep their families united.
Like most working parents, I have a ton of pictures of my family at my desk at work. My monitor's desktop is a constant rotation of favorite Henry pics. I sometimes get overwhelmed by just how strong my feelings for this little guy are. Just sitting there in my cube, I'll happen to glance at one of his pictures, and instead of moving on to whatever task is at hand, I'll stop and think about him for a second, and I'll get a little teary-eyed. Of course, it seems like I've been more prone to uncharacteristic emotional displays lately, but that's another story. It's a bit frightening sometimes, but I try to appreciate it for what it is.
Since I grew up without a father, I sometimes feel like I'm stumbling in the dark as a parent. Of course my mom worked extremely hard to be the best mother she could, and I spent time around other people's dads, but I can't really point to a particular role model, good or bad, to model myself off of, either to emulate or to do the opposite of. I suppose you could say that just by being present, I've made a 100% improvement over my own father's performance, but that's hardly a major accomplishment. I guess that's why I'm always surprised, reassured, and happy when Henry is so excited to see me every single day. Every day, a little reaffirmation that, imperfect though I may be, I matter to this little guy. And that, my friends, is an excellent state of affairs.