The garage door opens and we can hear it from the couch. No matter what we're doing, a little expectant face looks up at me and says, "Daddy?" All other thoughts are lost after that. He wiggle-runs to the kitchen, screaming "Daddy! DADDY!!" as Tim walks in the door. He clings to Tim's legs and then jabbers at him about his day. And me? I'm forgotten.
For a long time this bothered me...a LOT. It still bothers me on certain days, especially if it's been a long day full of arguments about what a 2 year old will or won't eat, or a nap time that didn't go especially well. I'm here, everyday, making sure that Brenden makes it from point A to point B, happy and healthy. Yet, I don't get that amazing welcome...ever. I think the only time I did get that was when we were gone for 4 days on our trip to Chicago and believe me, I appreciated that one time!
Tim is so much better at playing with Brenden at night than I am playing with him during the day. Of course, I have to remind myself that he gets home at roughly 5:30 pm and Brenden's bedtime routine starts at 7:30 pm, so that's only 2 hours of playing compared to the 9 hours I get to fill during the day. I need a break sometimes and I don't think Brenden learning to play on his own is a bad thing.
The sheer joy on Brenden's face when he sees his daddy and the way that they play together has caused me many moments of jealousy, especially on those days where I just want to cry into a pillow out of sheer frustration. But I've come to a realization lately...Tim has things to be jealous of, too, although I hope he doesn't feel it like I have.
I'm the one that got to know Brenden the best, before everyone else. I knew what would help him asleep, what it meant when he would rub his head against the back of the carseat. (he was tired) I was the Brenden "expert" when I know that Tim would have loved to know exactly what was going on. I was there when he rolled over for the first time, when he said his first word, when he did so many cute and funny things. I'm the one that gets the first hug in the morning, the first giggle, and toddler kisses whenever I want. I get to snuggle with him on the couch when he feels like snuggling. I'm the interpreter, the one everyone looks to when Brenden rambles on.
How could I possibly be mad at him for getting that wonderful welcome home when I know he misses out on so much? How could I fault my son for being so happy to see his daddy when I'm just as happy to see Tim as he is? That doesn't mean I won't have the occasional twinge of jealousy as he gets those big old hugs and kisses, but having some perspective has helped. I know exactly how I'll handle it now...by giving my amazing husband and wonderful little boy some big old hugs and kisses of my own, once they settle down of course.