I won’t pretend that the little hugs, looks, in-jokes and such are the deep stuff of the world’s most important job. But they have their value, and there’s no way to overestimate it.
Like many fathers, I take my 12-year-old son to school every day I’m home. That’s most days now. But when I was in television, frequent travel made school mornings rarer. So I learned to make the most of them.
I work from home now and seldom travel. I no longer have to be concerned that the drive to school, after which I would often continue to the airport, would be the last meaningful contact that week. But happily, the habit of getting my son ready for school and driving him there has stuck.
I’m a good cook. I pride myself on having a repertoire of simple, yet tasty, dishes that get my son going on his academic day with plenty of energy. My buttermilk pancakes are legendary. The egg-white omelets meet with good reviews, although I have been admonished to not over-brown the onions. And the scrambled egg burrito, served with a cup of medium salsa, is a big hit.
But my favorite part of the morning is in the car. Neither of us are morning people, so conversation is scant. But one thing, we never miss: the handshake. Since he was a small boy, I have been poking my hand into the back seat for my son to shake as we drive to school. Over the years, as his strength and confidence have increased, so has the firmness of his grip. Pump pump; day begun.
Now, he is a big-and-growing young man, and all I have to do is reach to my right a little. I can tell he looks forward to it. And it’s one of the things I miss most, those few times I do travel.♦
© 2013 Adam Barr