I saw my life flash beyond the window. It was brightly lit in shades of a day that once again I was not seizing. There were knees licked green by blades of freshly cut grass and hair grown golden in rays of sun. There were bright blue skies and brighter white clouds and a playful spectrum reflecting from the distant prism of children laughing.
I sat in an office worn gray with worry, lost between what I have done and what I am doing. I sat in an office and watched nothing as it bounced from tree to tree and fell small across the horizon.
The week is long hours and short nights. The boys are things that children should not be—bored, unchallenged, restless, and a nuisance. I am failing here and I know it. My day is filled with attempts at appeasement and endless piles of paperwork. I parent with shortcuts and scenic routes. All roads are long and winding. All detours are distractions.
The weekend is short and wicked. It teases and dances and whispers things I long to hear, and then it sneaks out the backdoor when I close my eyes for just a minute. The weekend is a mistress flirting across the calendar.
Sunday morning finds sighs where smiles should be and excuses where once were excursions. I am tired and there is work left undone. It is too easy to give the boys a task that taxes their time, like the cleaning of their room—a 15 minute project straight as the crow flies, and an all day affair for two little boys with more imagination than work ethic.
So it was that I sat in an office of gray, full of sighs and longing, while my sons stood in a sea of toys and discarded socks. We were all bored. We were all restless. The window was alive and it mocked me.
I leaned against the doorway watching them do the opposite of what I had told them. They froze when they noticed me. This is where the sighs come in. This is where I raise my voice and make mountains out of no hills.
This is where I am tired of failing.
“Let’s do something,” I said.
And we did.
This post first appeared on DadCentric in 2010, and it’s amazing how little life has changed.