I’ve always loved taking the long way home. I remember as a little kid sitting in the back when driving home at night and hoping my dad would take a few extra turns before heading home. And he always would– I don’t really remember ever having to ask. He says he always hoped for the same thing when he was a kid.
And when he would finally pull into our driveway, my siblings and I would pretend to be asleep so we would be carried up to bed.
I don’t know exactly what it is I like about taking the long way home. Just that it’s time where we’re all together. Sometimes we’ll be belting out a random ’90s song that came on the radio, laughing and having fun. And other times it will be quiet, not needing to say anything, just enjoying being together.
Today was dad’s first day out of quarantine, and was our first time properly together in almost three months. It was a really special day for all of us. It felt like it was a long time coming. To celebrate, we had a picnic dinner on the cliffs watching the sunset. After the sun slipped into the ocean, we all walked along the sand (taking the long way of course). Talking. Laughing. Enjoying each other’s company.
When we got into the car to go home, I almost thought dad would just drive straight back: we were pretty close anyway. But just as we were nearly home, he turned to take a detour. If I’m honest, I nearly cried. It seemed like so long since the last time he had carried out this tradition. And it seemed right.
I missed Dad these last few months. And I missed the little things that were normal for our family, but were put on hold while he was gone. Taking the long way home meant a lot to me tonight: it meant Dad was really home.
Welcome home Dad.