I learned on Sunday that somebody who I used to be in Boy Scouts with had passed away. Trey was about four years younger than me, so although I thought he was a good guy, we had never been especially close, and it had been years since I'd seen or spoken with him. I think the last time I saw him may have been when I sat on his Eagle Scout board of review, and was first to shake his hand when we awarded him his Eagle.
In the time since then, though, I've had the chance to get to know Trey's dad Bill through our church. When there was a Daddy And Me Campout this summer, he hosted it at his ranch. Every time I've seen him since then, he asks me about Blake. Every time. He knows what a gift a son is, and he cares about mine, just like he loved (and will always love) Trey, and Trey's little brother Dennis, who died in an accident several years ago.
That's what made today difficult, seeing Bill, another father, hurting so badly over his loss. I wished I knew what to say. I had no idea what to say. There's nothing to say. And I promise I'm not trolling for sympathy here, and I'm not trying to co-opt somebody else's tragedy as my own, but this day hit me much harder than I imagined it would.
Courtney worked last night, and as I was getting the kids ready this morning, I realized that I hadn't seen or heard Jack in a while. Then I rounded the kitchen corner and saw that he had decided to help himself to a breakfast of Nesquick powder. That's a little pile of it by his foot:
I was already dressed, in a suit no less, and had to take off my shirt and tie to clean it up, wash all the powder off Jack, and change his clothes. At the end of that, I found out that Ava had wet herself while wearing the Halloween costume she'd be wearing to preschool that day. While I cleaned and changed her, and fumed at how late I was going to be, Blake approached me to ask something and I just took his head off. He completely didn't deserve it.
At dinner, I apologized to Blake. "I'm so sorry for how I shouted at you this morning, Blake. I feel really awful about it."
"It's OK, Daddy. I'll always forgive you and love you."
I don't even want to try and say something funny or deep after that, just that I hope I will never, ever take that love for granted. And I have to admit that Jack is pretty cute, even with Nesquick all over him. Heck, especially with Nesquick all over him.