Leading to our foray into Austin I knew the piper would have to be paid at some point: my schoolwork had been neglected all week and our long date night wasn’t going to help matters. Today was all about my schoolwork. Because it’s all due tomorrow and I detest the pressure of the final hours leading to somehow, irresponsibly, squeezing everything in. My nerves can’t take it, truth be told. So my nose was buried in the books most of the day.

The boys, on the other hand, had their noses buried in basketball: either viewing youtube videos related to the topic, playing with Little B’s indoor over the door hoop, or putting tougher his new outdoor hoop. The boys ended up moving my dining room table out of the dining room to make room for some game called Tap. I tried my hand at it as well, but my rebounding skills lacked the necessary aggressiveness to get past D.Brooks’s crazy long arms or Little B’s ferociousness. I think I made it to four points, and possibly only because D.Brooks pitied me.

Either way, my schoolwork was delayed by the laughter emanating from the dining room and the ball hitting the walls and floors and random objects around the house. In all the days that Brooks was gone this moment was what I missed most. Because the thing is, this one year is nothing compared to the seemingly endless years ahead of us (us being Brooks and I), but our little boy only has so much time with us at home before he heads out to forge his own life, and we were both missing this: Daddy at home, his guidance, his love, his laughter, his companionship, his opinions and thoughts and presence.

I know it sounds weird, but it may be normal, in the greater context of Brooks being gone most of the time, that it still seems novel to see those two together, being father and son. The novelty of it just hasn’t worn off. It’s hard not to see the two of them together and feel such gratitude for that moment, for the memories being made. I love seeing them together and somehow I hope that that novelty never wears off, the gratitude never diminishes.

Maybe it’s not so bad that I spent most of my day buried in my books, lamenting the endless pages of hand written notes. Because it was nice that the boys got to spend most of the day without me in the midst. And that I was able to experience it from the sidelines.

Always the glass half full, that’s me. I can’t help but be any other way.