The Puddle on the Floor

By Jim Hagarty

I dropped off my son at work today at 9:30 a.m. and wished him a good day. Thursday is his busy day and I won’t see him again for 12 hours. Two week ago, I took my daughter back to her apartment in a city a three-hour drive away and said goodbye. “See you in three weeks,” she called out from her balcony.

Twelve hours? Three weeks?

I still can’t get used to this after all these years. There was a time when we were all together 24 hours a day. Now in their early 20s, we’ve had separations that have lasted as long as six weeks and they have spent time in some far-flung places.

I remember the first day I dropped them both off at nursery school. I was a stay-at-home dad and had been with them all day long, every day. As I walked away, I could hear through a window of the school my daughter screaming at the separation. I sat in my car and openly wept like I never had before. To punish myself even more, I slipped a Fred Penner tape of songs, their favourites, into the car stereo. Then the waterworks flowed without stopping.

But the tears were good and even then I was grateful for them. Finally, this cold, cold heart was melting. It’s been not much more than a puddle on the floor ever since.

Author: Jim Hagarty

I am a 65-year-old retired journalist, busy recovering from a lifelong career as an unretired journalist. This year marks a half century of my scratching out little fables about life. My interests include genealogy, humour and music. I live in a little blue shack in Canada and spend most of my time trying to stay out of trouble. I am not that good at it. I also spent years teaching journalism. Poor state of journalism today: My fault. I have a family I don't deserve, a dog that adores me, and two cars the junk yard refuses to accept. My prized possessions include my old guitar and a razor my Dad gave me when I was 14 and which I still use when I bother to shave. Oh, and my great-great-grandfather's blackthorn stick he brought from Ireland in the 1850s. I have only one opinion but it is a good one: People take too many showers.

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