What The End of a Day Should Bring.

    Anyone with a 1 year old (or any young kid) knows, days can be hard.  Every move, every decision, and 90% of the time you have each day belongs to maintaining whatever routine you have developed to keep your kid healthy and as happy as possible.

    Joanna Goddard posted a blog a last week that I really loved.  Something I’ve thought about every day since Amelia was born is her future.  Not really long term (although that’s obviously important as well,) but more short term things; rights of passage stuff.  In the article she writes about kids going off to school, finally being on their own around other kids who may or may not play nicely.  Thinking about how your kid may have moments where they feel sad or alone.  Watching Amelia smile with genuine excitement when its time to brush her teeth, or seeing how excited she gets when I chase her into her tee pee-the thought of her being sad about anything that isn’t related to a temper tantrum is indeed heartbreaking.  Basically the point of her post was that in the end, you want to make home the one place that is guaranteed to be safe and warm, or in her own words – “a haven.”

   Having read this, it made me think.  Not only was this true, but it should be that way for the whole family.  I work at home, so I’m here all day.  My wife however is not.  Like most folks, she endures the morning commute, the traffic, the weather, and every other outside element in her life that is stacked upon her shoulders.  All while toting a baby to and from my parent’s house.

   I try to make sure that dinner is ready when they get home everyday because the baby usually only has a short amount of time left awake before its time to go to bed.  It’s usually the same routine.  I get a text when they are leaving my parent’s house which in turn, allows me to properly time dinner.  Usually a dinner that is quick and easy, lacks any effort, and that can be whipped up mindlessly.  That’s fine most of the time.  We don’t have much time to go out for nice dinners, usually once every 1 or 2 months if we can get my parents to watch Amelia.  In an attempt to create a nice surprise for them, tonight I will be making a delicious dinner from a recipe I found online.  I will also create an intimate, candle-lit table setting for my ladies. A glass of wine for my wife, and a sippy cup full of the finest water provided by our fridge for the beautiful Amelia Rose.

    As a man, it’s easy to fall into a trap of taking thing for granted or to fall into a routine.  Some routines are unavoidable, especially during the week.  A simple tweak and a little thought can easily bring a smile to the faces you love, especially after a long day.

    Tonight I will be making 3 Vegetable Penne Pasta, which uses wheat pasta but I am being assured by the great Rachael Ray that there is a reason having to do with the combination of flavors and not just calorie cutting.

    Another thing, clean up a bit.  Not just in the house.  Yourself.  Take a look in the mirror.  Yeah, its sometimes more comfortable wearing old jeans, a t-shirt, and ball cap, but change it up.  Put on something nice.  Not over the top.  Just nice.

    In the end you have 2 people coming home who have been gone all day, tired, strung out, and itching to get into something comfortable to relax.  Part of the fun in having a little kid, is surprising them.  Sure, she doesn’t know what a candle light dinner is…but she knows it wasn’t like normal dinner, and we certainly don’t light fancy candles!  She seemed to love it and had two whole plates of pasta with nothing but grins.  I love my family.

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