There are times when a husband and father need nothing more than to escape from the daily household and fatherly routine. I know I experience this need about once a month – sometimes more often, and sometimes less. Many times this escape will involve a gathering of “the guys” to watch a football game, play some poker or enjoy a round of golf. It feels great to have those few hours in a different environment, surrounded by friends, and no longer held to the obligations of a family, or a household. Ah, sweet freedom, where have you been?
When I come home late at night from these few hours away, I quietly open the front door, careful not to make any excessive noise. I do not want to wake my family. I hang my coat in the closet, slip off my shoes in the front hall, and creep upstairs.
I open the door to my oldest girl’s room. She is sleeping soundly in her bed with her mouth slightly open. I can see the books that she read at bedtime, still sitting on her bedside table. They serve as a reminder of a bedtime reading that I missed on this day. I close her door ever so gently, and move down the hall to my youngest daughter’s room. Slowly turning the door knob I peak into her room and spot her bundled up in the corner of her crib with her bum raised high in the air and her arms tucked under her tummy, I can only hear the faint sound of her little breath from across the room. I will miss my goodnight kiss tonight; I do not want her to wake. Going into my own room, I change out of my clothes; slip under the sheets and into bed with my wife. Making gentle contact with her hand I drift off into a warm and peaceful rest.
The time after I arrive home and before drifting off to sleep are filled with peace and pride and total contentment. Next month I may not need my escape time away.
My little ladies, there truly is no place like home.