Yesterday, I was leaving for work when I noticed that my two-year-old daughter wouldn’t look at me when I said goodbye.
“Is everything okay?” I asked.
She just looked at the floor.
I thought maybe she was upset because I had gotten onto her for taking her sister’s toy, so I gave her a hug, told her I loved her, and started to leave. She followed me to the door and came outside.
“Stay,” she said.
“I can’t,” I replied. “I have to go to work.”
“Stay, Daddy,” she said again, and even though I was running late, I went over and picked her up to hug her. She wrapped her arms around my neck and held onto me in silence as the breeze blew through her dark hair. I got a lump in my throat as I held her.
My wife came to the door to see where our daughter was, and I looked at her and mouthed the words, “She needs me.”
I’ve been so busy at work this past week that I haven’t seen my family as much as I’d like, and I think it’s starting to wear on all of us. In particular, my wife and I have been a little tense as we try to juggle kids, moving, settling on our house in D.C., and my work obligations.
After I got home last night, my wife and I talked for a little bit, but I noticed we were both uptight. Eventually, we moved over to each other, our hands touched, and then finally, we wrapped our arms around each other and held on for the longest time.
When we finally let go, I said, “I needed that,” and my wife said, “I did too.”
It’s amazing how easily we forget it.