My Downtime

Since I get off work at 6pm and have to drive through what is often an hour and a half of traffic, I usually get home after my son has gone to bed. I feel guilty about this, and I don’t like that it happens, but I’ve grown accustomed to it over the last year – so accustomed, in fact, that I’ve sort of come to expect it.

So, when I got home tonight, it was an unexpected surprise to find him still awake. This rare privilege caught me off guard, and being rather grumpy after an hour and a half of driving, I wished he was already in bed, leaving me to enjoy my dinner and quiet time to myself. But, nevertheless, I left my wife to her dinner and I got him ready for bed and then sat down with him to read, as is our custom before bedtime.

That’s when the magic began! And I’m writing about it now so that I myself do not forget it.

I realized as I read to him that, for that brief moment in time, everything for me seems to stand still, and nothing in the world matters except him. Work is gone. All projects I’m involved in dissolve. No one else is more important to me in that moment than him. He grins and laughs and chatters his baby-talk all through that time because he loves his daddy, and it’s the rare time that he gets to see me during the day.

Unfortunately, the time is all too short, and while I resented it at first because I wanted to be selfish and have “me time,” it’s a breath of fresh air and better for my sanity than any time to myself could ever be. Now, I’m looking forward to that time of day, hoping that I can knock off work just a few minutes earlier to beat the traffic home in time to read with Sean again. It’s becoming my favorite time of the day, my downtime.