Emerald wakes me up every morning between eight and nine am. She wakes me up by pulling on my feet and saying "Wake up, you silly head." To tell you the truth, I'm usually awake once she opes the door to my bedroom, but I pretend to be asleep anyway. When the feet pulling doesn't work, she climbs up onto the bed and kisses me. This works. Pretty soon I'm cuddling on the couch with her watching Dragon Tails and Clifford and her favorite cartoon, Cailou, or however the hell that bald headed yuppie kid's name is spelled. I just walked next door to get some syrup from nana's house and I liked what I saw, a blanket of clouds covering the sky. It is a picture perfect cloudy windy moody sort of day, finally an October day right before the end of October. It's awesome outside. It is an awesome day.
On days like this, my iPod can read my mind. It's been "Slow" by Jim's Big Ego, "Fade Away" by Seether, "Wonderful Tonight" by Eric Clapton, "Crowning of a Heart" by Trail of Dead, "Let's Be Natural" by The Rutles, "Say It Ain't So" by Weezer, "Ruby Tuesday" by Rolling Stones and just a little Black Sabbath to keep things spicy. Great music. And all the while my beautiful daughter Emerald is sitting across from me at the dinner table eating the pancakes I made for her this morning. And smiling. She is beautiful and smart and funny and awesome and although I could never be her father, I am honored to be her daddy. Days like these, morning like these, they are what keep me going. Amazing, awesome days like these, days when I'm a daddy and a father and a provider and all I have to do is be with my children and hug them and play with them. Mornings with Emerald and Isabela. I love these mornings.
And, sadly, I only have two more left.
I go back to work this saturday. I have been gone for seven weeks, almost two whole months, a long ass time to be away. I've missed work, missed the children's section, missed the people and the faces and Jesse's brooding and Ian's pop culture and Julia's hugs. I've missed being surrounded by children's books, my own private little cave hidden from the bestsellers and the self help books. I've missed doing my storytimes, being paid to entertain kids with my stories and my loudness and my craziness. I've missed the Harry Potter club and Pam and my desk and the break room. I've missed magazines. I haven't read a new magazine since last month. I've missed the graphic novels and the Series of Unfortunate Events and the stupid customer questions and I've missed pretty much everything about my job.
And at the exact same time I've absolutely loved spending every second of every day with my wife, waking up with my three year old daughter, taking care of my newborn while Natasha sleeps, and altogether NOT being at work. I'm frightened to go back. I'm sad to be leaving my family's side. I'm sad to be leaving these awesome mornings with Emerald watching PBS and the Muppet Show and cooking breakfast and warming my heart with her incredible smiles. These are the mornings that I live for now, mornings that will become few and far between when I start waking up at six-thirty to drive past Pettigrew and Sons casket company on my way to another long, tiring day at work.
I want to go back to work. And at the same time I'm scared to death about it. Still, awesome fucking morning.