When you get married, I have one piece of advice for you, listening to your partner will go farther than most any other trait you have. This did not hit home until a day that I almost left you at daycare.
Mrs. Rookie and I were having a conversation after you had gone to bed where she was talking about having a Girl’s Night the next day. To me, it sounded like she was still just talking about it, but to her, she was really asking me to put it on my calendar that she would be gone on the next evening. I do not remember anywhere in the conversation her saying that this IS going to happen so naturally, being the man that I am, I brush it off.
The next morning as your mother was getting ready for school and I was walking out the door, forgetting my lunch like usual, she once again asks me if I am working late. I was not, and as I was looking around for the lunch that I had made just 2 minutes earlier she asks, “So you can pick the Kid up?” Either I was not paying attention or my go-to answer when your mother asks me a question is Yes, I answered “Yes.” Out the door, I went.
I won’t bore you with the details of what went on that day at work, I will save that for Take Your Kid To Work Day that I know right now you are looking forward to but when you are 9 probably not so much. My day was so full of exciting meetings, and I was looking forward to getting out the door. I call your mother with what I call, the nothing phone call, the one where either she or myself calls each other to tell them that we are on our way home. Once you have a significant other, you will understand what I mean by it. This nothing phone call ended up in nothing because your mother did not answer, which I thought was weird. I called our home phone (a home phone is something to you that is probably like what an 8-track tape is to me OLD) still no answer. I thought that maybe she was either outside, her phone was dead, or she was picking you up from daycare. At that moment it could have been any one of those.
I continue to try and reach your mother as I am driving home from work and still no answer. When I get home, the garage door opens and her car is not there. When I walk in the door, the dog is still in her kennel and barking to get out and go to the bathroom. At this moment I start to get worried, I send your mother a text message asking “Are you OK?” 5 minutes goes by and no response.
I begin to think the worst and wonder if you have been picked up from daycare. I call the center, and they said that he has still not picked up. Now, my mind is really beginning to wonder. As I am driving to pick you up, there is something in the back of my head telling me “maybe she was going on a Girl’s Night” but like the night before I brush it off.
When I walk in to pick you up, your teacher asks me what is going on? I explain that I haven’t been able to reach my wife and I did not know that I am supposed to come pick you up. He said that I could use the center’s phone to call your mother’s phone because maybe she is avoiding my calls. I reassure him that it is probably OK and that maybe she just has a Girl’s Night that I am supposed to remember about but don’t.
We get home, and I make one last-ditch effort to reach your mother. Again, nothing. At this point, I’m beginning to wonder what happened to her. Did she get into an accident? Will a police officer come knocking on my door telling us that news that we would not like to hear? What happened?
Before I let it get to me my phone begins to ring, it’s your mother. When I answer she begins to ask “Is everything OK I have a text message and 8 phone calls from you?” I laugh and ask “Well is everything OK with you? Where are you?” She reminds me that she is having a Girl’s Night and wonders if I picked you up. Well, of course, I picked you up I called daycare to see if you were still there! I tell her that she tends to remind me when things like this are going on, so usually, this kind of situation is avoided. Right after I get off the phone with your mother, we have our own Boy’s Night, a pizza is ordered, baseball on TV, a beer in my hand and a cup of milk in yours.
We both laugh about it now. Son, there is a valuable lesson here that you need to remember, listening to your partner goes far. I pride myself on being one of those husbands who listens but some people can be very cryptic, and you might not be able to solve the puzzle sometimes. Here is a challenge for you, try to listen to your mother to see if you can really tell what she is saying, I have been trying to do it for 6 years, and once you figure it out, let me know.