Some parents brand their kid too often with the word "burden" across their foreheads in their younger years and end up trying to chase them down for a hug well after their legs and minds become too fast to catch.
Extended weekends like these make me enjoy my two children for who they are and what they will become. Despite not knowing the consequences of popping open a jar of peanut butter where the oils floated to the top and ended up spraying my work clothes like Peter North after a month long vacation, and being rushed to gather two kids and their respective sets of toys, clothes, and bodies for day care at five in the morning, I love it.
The feeling of being needed, or the third rung of Maslow's pyramid "Love and Belonging" was climbed this weekend, yes the Daddy voice made its appearance a few times over minor "she/he did it" moments but even more so the "thank you's" and hugs came in regularly, unforced, and welcomed even at 6:00am following a night of online poker degeneracy which saw several deep runs in happy meal sized tournament that went for naught.
Seeing the pure smiles on their faces in the mini water park at Como Zoo as the temperature rose above 90 but my temper never did. Instead of retreating to "you're wrong and I am right" tactics, instead I asked why did something that was conduct unbecoming my child. No, I did not break into Staff Sargent Drizz like below:
I GOT YOUR ASS AND YOUR HI-C DRINK BOXES!!!!
Instead we enjoyed a day at the pool, the Zoo, the batting cages, and at the end of the weekend some quiet time laying out exhausted while watching Favre get a rude welcome back into the NFL and becoming more of a family than people I hand my paycheck and sanity over to. Nothing stays double rainbows and orange desire scented Axe body spray, but with hopes there will be less quiet time in the corner and more pure embraces that make this old guy get out of bed with a purpose each day.