Sometime around the end of August, long after you’ve succumbed to summer’s sultry song, the machine sputters, chokes and belches to life.
It starts slowly at first, with a soccer practice here and there. Then there’s an open house at school. Soon after, drama classes reemerge. Then, as long summer afternoons slip quicker into darkness, school begins again. September arrives. The machine starts whirling and whining and then magically, there’s a commitment somewhere every night. Except Thursday. And the cars need maintenance. And work gets crazy. And there’s dentists, orthodontists, vets and volunteering. The weekends are no different with its rafting and soccer and hiking and apple picking and pumpkins and yard work and groceries and dogs that have to go to the park every day. And the din of the machine is at full volume. Except, you don’t hear it anymore. In fact, you don’t hear anything – except for the deafening roar of your own tinnitus. But then, a voice rings out from the back of the house just as you settle down for the day at 10 pm, “I love you, Daddy!”
“I love you too!” you call back. And then shut your eyes.