Happy Fathers Day!

Division of Labor.

I enjoy car trips with my wife. To be candid, she’s good company.  Now, do I wish she would take the wheel once in a while? Of course, I do.  But for the last 30 years, the pay-off has been huge.

We get to the hotel. I unload the car, piling the contents onto the luggage cart. The family helps as much as they can but mostly get in the way.  I push the cart into the lobby.  One of the kids, usually the boy, wants to come with me to park the car.   The wife steps forward to restrain him.  I raise my hand, palm out.  Let him come with me.

The Christensen Men @manningthewall.com

The Christensen Men.  Why must they grow up?

We exit the hotel, leaving the girls to check in.  When we come back to the lobby, usually she has the key-cards in hand.   I take them both, look at the room number and hand her back one of the cards.  Let’s go.

I’m slightly irritated.  It’s been a long drive.  The kids behave pretty well through the hallways and in the lobby.  The boy does have a rambunctious second or two.  She catches the eye of the offending party, ‘not now.’

Nearly There.

We get to the room, and unload the luggage.  I bring the cart back down to the lobby, and come back to the room.

One more chore to perform.  I grab the ice bucket, find the machine – is there even one on this floor?  The hunt is on.  I come back to the room. Success.

The children are occupied in their own corner of the room.  They’ve always travelled well.

She dips a glass into the ice and pops open a can.  She smiles as she hands me a full glass of fizzing soda.  I am somewhat less irritated now.  She pats my side of the bed. On the nightstand is my favorite news magazine, just in case.  Couple of peanut butter cups fresh from the ice bag lay next to it.

I will not so much as touch the luggage until it’s time to leave.  She will see to that.  In fact, she already has us halfway unpacked.

“Rest,” it’s both a command and a plea.

I kick off my shoes and lay down.  I gulp down most of the soda.  Maybe I bother with the magazine, maybe I don’t. Maybe I take a bite of the still-cold candy.

I drift off.  She may not think I hear her whisper to the kids, but I do.  It’s the sweetest, most comforting sound imaginable. “Let your father sleep.”

Happy Father’s Day to the men who lay the lumber, change the oil, man the wall, keep the lights on, and the roads clear. Respect.

About Phil Christensen

The trail behind me is littered with failure. The trail before me remains to be seen.
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5 Responses to Happy Fathers Day!

  1. Debbie Duncan says:

    Your wife is most definitely a “keeper” Bro. Phil! I hope my husband doesn’t read this. He will most certainly think he’s been short-changed!

  2. Andy Mount says:

    You do indeed have a wonderful wife. I expect she had a good Mother.

    I ask that you do one more thing before you go back to the room after returning the luggage cart. Get off the elevator and find your room. Locate the closest exit. Walk the hallway and count the number of doors to the exit. Then open the door to the stairwell and make sure that you can open it easily. Check the stairwell to see that it’s clear from your floor to the exit. If you can’t do that without walking then walk it.

    You may never have to use this information but your life and that of your family may depend upon it in case of a fire.

    Yes, I’m a fire fighter and a code official in PA.

    • Bill in Lexington, NC says:

      Good advice. I also look out the window and orient myself as to the parking lot and what’s around it. I’ve never needed that information in a panic but it has never hurt me to acquire it.

  3. Dana shrader says:

    Really like your articles sir. Thank you for your service to this country.
    I don’t see a place to sign up for your emails or any other posts that you do so I will just leave my email address here and a good comment.

  4. Linda says:

    Really enjoyed this article. Thanks Again. Really Cool.

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