In this strange and serene country of Fatherland mornings are full of giggles. This is new for me. When I was small mornings were quiet, tense affairs. My own mother struggled to get us going and out of the house. There were sharp words and hurt feelings. Too often we'd skip the morning all together and make haste for the afternoon. (I missed a lot of school).
Here, though, there are no missed days. Rain or shine these children get up... and who do they go to? Daddy! (This is so ODD you have no idea!)
Mommy (me) disappears down the stairs in a haze of sleep wearing a halo made of crazy. It's my job to make the coffee, the breakfast and the lunch.
His job is to get them ready. (We both have jobs here, they don't seem to have a problem with unemployment in these parts). He washes their faces with hot soapy washcloths (What the hell is one of those anyway? I never even knew what those miniature towels were for before I moved here. I used them as barbie blankets...) and combs their princess hair.
My father used to comb my hair. He was kind about that. I remember loving the way he held the snarls with one hand so the other could comb away without hurting my head. When he was gone I missed his hands so much. My mother and I silently damning him each time we struggled against my rat's nest hair.
This father combs their hair regularly, with no absences in between. He knows their scalps from baby to big girl, and they know he knows. There is no wariness in their love for him. In the way they trust his morning ways.
Here in Fatherland the children eat a balanced breakfast before they get to school on time.
And they run up the stairs to him, without being asked, and yell "Goodbye, Daddy! Have a nice day, Daddy!"
I stand at the bottom of the stairs waiting with my car keys in my hand. I listen to them speak that foreign language.
And you know what? The most amazing part is that when the school bell rings at three o'clock he'll be there to pick them up. He'll be there.
They never have to wonder about that.
It's so nice here. I think I'll stay.