It's hard to pick a "best day" when you're a dad, let alone if you're an at-home dad where every day is spent having fun with and nurturing your child. I think that today will rank pretty high up there on that list of "best days" for me. And it's not because anything special happened, but the sheer joy that my child experienced today was at a level that is not often reached and rarely eclipsed.
Little Nugget and I had a lot to get done today. We had to drop off some boxes for a consignment sale (here's the details for you locals), stop at the bank, spend some of daddy's birthday money on a new softball glove, get some picks and strings for daddy's banjo, get lunch, and finally, meet my mom and sister so my daughter could play with her cousin, C-man.
So yes, there was a lot of car time for my kid today, and we all remember how Mrs. Matt Daddy feels about car time, right? Well, there's only one thing that Mrs. Matt Daddy hates more than long car rides and that's dirt and germs (more germs than dirt, but they usually go hand in hand). Yes, like every mother, she has a tiny case of germaphobia, and that's okay. Don't tell her this, but when she's not around, I get to stretch the normal boundaries of what is acceptable for our child to participate in. Hey, I'm not cruel! I cleaned the cart handle when we picked up eggs and milk at the grocery store. I washed her hands after she touched everything at the used sporting goods shop. I don't want her to get the flu. We've already done that.
They ran from front yard to back yard, picking up sticks and playing with trucks. They squealed when they fell in the mud, and they laughed like drunken sailors when they played in the snow. Not even story time at the library, which my daughter really, REALLY loves, could compare to this. She was getting to do something that we don't normally let her do, and she was experiencing the total freedom of childhood. Her joy was bringing me joy, and it was a fantastic day.
Of course, as it got closer and closer to nap time, the fun wore off, the noses started to run, and the kids didn't want to be muddy any more. They just wanted to be warm and cozy. So we drove home, I gave her a nice warm bubble bath, and she finished her nap while daddy was thinking about what to write today.
Luckily, life had given me great inspiration. I'm so lucky to be an at-home dad.