Welcome Home

It’s just not the same without my family.

“Hello, family!” I called out to Stacey and our son as they emerged from the minivan after their weekend away. Our dog Coltrane bounded from chair to window to door, just as happy to see them as I was.

I had been looking forward to the weekend alone (even though the last time I did this, it didn’t go so well). For two whole days, I wouldn’t have to worry about diapers, about middle-of-the-night wakeups, about making sure our 8-month-old doesn’t pull a floor lamp over on himself or bungee jump out a window.

And, well, it was nice and quiet. But I felt a little tug every time I passed that empty crib, a little ache whenever I rolled over in the middle of the night and realized I was alone.

I bounced our boy as Stacey unpacked. He fussed most of the way through dinner, but he calmed down when I gave him a bath. We read Goodnight Moon, and Stacey put him to bed.

Stacey was about as tired as he was. She soon drifted off, and I crept back downstairs to put this month’s Crunchable issue together.

Around 11 p.m., I heard my little guy crying again. I found him standing up in his crib, clinging to its sides. I sang to him and snuggled him and held him close. He blinked a few times, then gently drifted back to sleep.

“Sleep well, son,” I whispered as I tucked him in. “I’m so glad you’re home.”

Article © 2006 by Michael Duck