By Jeremy G. Schneider, MFT
I had the privilege of taking my kids, eight-year old boy-girl twins, to school the other day. It’s funny because I do it enough that I know what to do, but not enough that I have gotten good at it. It takes me 15 minutes to get their lunch ready though I know my wife can do it in less than five. I worry so much about getting to school on time because I don’t remember how long each “step” takes for my kids to do. Getting dressed is how long? Eating breakfast? Brushing teeth and hair? I never remember so it ends up being a bit stressful.
But the walk there is usually quite nice because I already know how long that takes and it always feels like special time, the three of us (Los Tres Amigos), being together. Often one or both of them will hold my hand. When it is cold we do this thing we started at the zoo a couple of years ago. A perfect example of how something so little and seemingly meaningless, can have such weight in their lives.
The zoo was very cold the day we went and my kids’ hands were cold. I am a short guy, always have been, and the sleeves of my jackets are always a bit too long. I offered to let my kids put their hands in my sleeves so we could hold hands without them getting too cold. Now, every time it is cold out and we’re walking together, they ask if they can do it again.
We got to school and we stopped and they each gave me a hug and a kiss and I told them I love them and I watched them run into the school with their friends.
But then my son, Lucas, turned around and said, “I love you, Daddy.”
“I love you, too,” I replied and immediately wondered how much longer he’ll be okay with me telling him I love him outside school with his friends around him.
For however long he lets me do it, I am happy to do so.