The morning began with a crash. Miska left the house at 5:45 for Bikram Yoga, and I woke at 6:30 to get breakfast and the boys rolling. Groping for the bathroom light, I knocked over a large Mason jar sitting on the edge of our sink. The jar shattered across our tile floor, and I was suddenly wide awake. Surely you’ve picked up that I am not an efficient or organized man, but I will say that over the years my thirty-minute-school-lunches / breakfast-for-Miska-and-two-boys / herding-Wyatt-out-the-door-for-school routine has become a work of precision that would make any NASCAR pit crew envious.
Today, however, the twenty minutes it took to pick up jagged chunks, scour the floor for the tiniest of slivers, vacuum the carpet next to the bathroom and get mounds of glass into the trash can threw the morning into a frizzy. I dashed about the kitchen tossing lunches together, throwing something that I think resembles breakfast in front of the boys and then spending maddening minutes desperately searching for my keys. I did find them … hanging in the keyhole of our front door where they had been all night, an invitation to all comers. Miska loves it when I do that.
I did get Wyatt to school just before the bell, but when I walked back into our front door, Seth (who goes to school 45 minutes later) greeted me. “Dad, we have a serious problem.”
I understand that last week’s snow storm frustrated many of Cupid’s escapades, and this was certainly the case for Charlottesville’s elementary students. Since school was cancelled, there was no party with chocolate kisses and no exchange of valentines. This was disappointing because Seth bought a box of valentines that included, with each, a self-applied mustache tattoo. Seth is a 4th grade romantic hipster bad-boy.
At any rate, the powers that be determined valentines would be exchanged today, and over the weekend Seth assembled his to distribute. However, upon review this morning, Seth realized he had left out two of his classmates. “I’ve got to get two more valentines, Dad. I have to. And I have more in the box.”
“Great,” I answered. “Go get them.”
“Well…the box is in the trash”
This, mind you, is days-old trash flush with rancid remains, wet coffee grounds and old pizza. This is the trash that is now full of sharp bits of glass strewn throughout. This is a Level One Hazmat scenario.
I grabbed a couple white 3 x 5 cards and handed them to Seth. “Buddy, you’re going to have to use these and make two more valentines. I’m not digging into that trash.”
But of course, I did. Seth was distraught, and that does this ol’ dad in. This will almost certainly be the last year we have a boy handing out valentines to his classmates, and while that’s a small thing, I think most of the beauty in our lives is made up of the small things.
Besides, you can’t let a mustache tattoo go to waste.
7 Replies to “Shards of Love”
Thank you for raising boys with a broad landscape and a wide margin of error. Beautiful.
Now that is a boy blessed in his dad. So sorry about the day. Mine’s been kinda rocky, too – stomach flu. Yeek.
hope you’re mending
Loved laughing loudly to this one.
Glad it brought a little levity.
I love this. It sounds much like our household around 8:30 in the morning as we struggle to get ourselves & our two boys, 4 and 5, out of the house & off to school & work on time. Similar to you, our boys also had their Valentines day parties postponed until this past week because of the snowstorm. After dinner, I reminded them they hadn’t opened their sugar & tattoo laden love letters. Their sweet eyes lit up, more so because of the potential for Phineas and Ferb tattoos, little bags of skittles & the classic heart candies with the assortment of romantic phrases they are still too young to even read. However, as we went through them one by one, my husband & I reading them aloud to the boys, it was so precious to see their joyful expressions, their little giggles every so often when we’d read one from a girl. Holding on to these moments tightly because I know, all to soon, they will grow older, & these small things will be sacred memories. Small, beautiful & sacred.