All this weekend, we have been hosting our niece while her mom was out of town. She’s eight, and not always the most keen on being actively engaged in her own experiences. She is used to far more passive time than we have at our house. This weekend was especially tough on her because I was still finishing up the rubbish going through my system and in the process got deeply absorbed in a book. So, against all odds, they managed to survive without playing video games and watching tons of movies that would disturb my utter enjoyment of the written word.
Yesterday evening, M and I headed out to another in the series of doctor appointments that go along with being pregnant. All standard stuff. We left our son with M’s brother and our niece and were driving merrily on our way.
Not yet even out of our neighborhood, my phone started ringing. After doing my awkward ‘pulling the phone out of my pants while driving’ maneuver, I looked at the display to see who was calling. It was the Uncle.
There was a moment of silence. Then came a hope-filled, “Dad?”
Here is where I thought to myself, oh I forgot to give him extra hugs at every point in my departure, and just had to call and say bye to me. It’s sweet, but it does add to the time it takes to get out and actually do something.
“I… um… can… can I play Nintendo, please?” This was said in perfect unison of M in the passenger seat, softly guessing his question.
I chuckled a bit, “Yes, you may.”
I hear a bit of distant, “We can play Wii!” in the background in the phone, then “Oh Dad, I miss you and love you the bestest mostest ever!” Nice, that’s when it comes. I repeat his lines to my wife, who is busting up.
“Thanks, bud. You go have fun now.”
I wonder what I would have been had I said no…