Sure, I am cranky in the mornings, especially before my coffee, but I am usually fine by 11 am, with the help of Mr Caffeine.
No, this time, I am bothered by something. It nags at me, pulls me in many directions, like little gremlins trying to pull me towards the little tasks they want me to do.
Ben says it is the birthday blues. He feels it too, has always felt it. In the month of July, same month as me. I only just noticed it this year. I've not had any angst since puberty ended. But this year, it hit me like a freight train.
What is the meaning of life?
Why am I on earth?
Why I never score all the hot chicks?
Ok, that last one is not quite accurate. I scored the hot chick soul mate and married her.
But I am told these are questions that many men ask, nearing their birthdays, especially the birthdays after 30. Some end up buying sports cars. Some pimp their MPVs. I am thinking of getting a nice Lightsaber.
Then I go home, it is late, 11pm.
I see my daughter curled up in bed, eyes open, playing with her bolster, waiting for me. In the darkness, I can make out the shape of her mommy, the mommy with a little tummy, lying next to her, also trying to sleep.
I smile at Faith, and say, "Why are you still awake, you silly little girl?"
Then I know.
This little girl awaits my return, just to tuck her in. She cannot talk, despite being four, the autism disrupting so much, but her eyes, like two bright spots of black, say, "Welcome home, Papa."
And she sleeps, within minutes of me lying down next to her, within ten pats of my hand, within nine lines of a lullaby.
Her breathing is a gentle rhythm of life, each breath lifting the heart of her weary father.
Image is Faith being carried by Mommy for the first time since Mommy was discharged from CCU.