Are men supposed to have the empty-nest syndrome? I’m starting to think that we are. The first day of my boys going back to school, I was fairly well put together, until I got home. My wife was gone at work, my step-son was nowhere to be found, and I was all alone in the deafly silence of my house – again. This summer went too fast for me. How is it that they can already be in first and fourth grade? To add to the heartache of this new school year, the boys have now asked to walk to the bus stop by themselves this year – which drives me absolutely crazy. Will they make it? If not, I won’t know until the bus is supposed to drop them off during the afternoon. Ugh. Yet another baby step, right?

After they get off the bus, my first comment is “Hi guys! How was school? What did you learn today?” …’nothin’ good, is the response I get. Then I harken back to the days that I gave the same exact answer to my mother and father. Kind of funny how history repeats itself, isn’t it?

Which leads me to the morning ritual. Ugh, the morning ritual. “Set out your clothes, brush your teeth (WITH TOOTHPASTE), take a shower (WITH SOAP!), grab a book, and get into bed. This should take a normal person approximately 15 minutes – ok, maybe 20 or so. Well, after numerous reminders that have slowly turned into threats, they exit the bathroom. And yes, a mop is necessary after this.

What’s the moral of my story today? My son just turned 10 years old, and I simply cannot believe how fast the time has gone. While being a stay-at-home-dad, I have tried my best to cherish each and every moment – but I feel like there have been so many that have just escaped me. My challenge to you all: The next time you have a bathroom flood, spilled milk, an “accidental” hole in the drywall…just remember, these are the times you’ll always remember and wish you could have back. Cherish your little ones while they’re still just that. After all, it’s the best job in the world!