There’s a moment at 6:12 a.m. when I hear my little two year old girl start to cry, that I want to run like a startled deer down the stairs and escape to the forest that is my garage.
The reason behind this fight or flight response is because I’m usually running two or three minutes behind schedule because I chose to lay in bed a littler longer and now I still have to feed the dog, who decided to take his sweet-ass time today. Then I have put on my socks and shoes, get my work bag together—put my lunch in the bag, make sure my keys to my office are in there, make sure I have a pen, and then take out yesterday’s empty lunch container so it doesn’t stink up my bag, which I should have done yesterday when I came home, but I didn’t.
Then the real struggle starts. I have to put on my duty belt, which has four snapping belt-supporters that snap around an inter-belt and one of these supporters doesn’t fit right, so it takes forever to get it on. And I know this whole process is going to take all of the three minutes I have left before I’m five minutes late to work. And for some reason, if I hear that cry and it’s before 6:13 a.m., I feel obligated to take thirty seconds to go into my girl’s room, pick her up and comfort her and ask, “What’s wrong?” knowing she’s going to wipe her snotty-ass-nose back-and-forth across my uniform shirt leaving a trail of slime on my shoulder that I’m going to have to wash off.
After I pat her back a couple of times, and find her what used-to-be white Honey Bunny, I’ll lay her back down and then run out of the room knowing she’ll be screaming before I can grab my keys out of the glass bowl that’s at the end of the hallway.
Sometimes I’ll spin on my heels before I hit the bathroom halfway down the hall and take her into our bed, throw her on my pillow and say to my wife, “Here ya go. I’ve got to leave,” feeling guilty only as far as the end of the driveway. Then I’m over it.
Hey, it’s not my fault some people have to start work at 6:45 am. And you, little girl, just made me five minutes late.