Awkwardly Silent Night

I’ve received multiple “Best Dad Ever!” awards through the years from my children. Sure, most of them were crafted under direct orders from grade school teachers, but the point is I have documented proof that I’m not a terrible father. It’s important you know this before reading any further.

My oldest daughter flew home from college on Thursday afternoon. My job was to pick her up from the airport, which seemed reasonable when my wife first assigned it to me, but then things got complicated because her flight was delayed by 30-minutes which wasn’t enough time for me to squeeze in a bike ride but I went anyways and then had to scramble home and pick up the rest of my kids who all wanted to accompany me to the airport. Moreover, I had to spend the usual amount of extra time convincing the dog, who also wanted to go, that he was a Good Boy and that we weren’t permanently leaving or just sneaking off to eat at McDonald’s without him. By then, we were already going to be late, but I figured it’d all work out since my daughter would still need to de-plane and make her way through SeaTac and wait for her luggage.

So, we all headed out together in the car but the roads were a disaster because there was an accident on the interstate that was causing a huge backup. Worse, after spending about 15-minutes in stop-and-go traffic, we noticed someone was missing.

I had home-alone’d my youngest daughter.

By the time we turned around and made it back for her, my oldest daughter had texted us from baggage claim and was eagerly waiting to leave. My traffic app said there was now a 90-minute traffic delay and the backroads weren’t any better. A $60 Lyft ride got her home, alone, in an hour.

Now I have to decide if I should relabel all the packages under our tree and gift them to my two daughters in an effort to win back their adoration, or just double-down on my daughter-in-law who is spending Christmas with us for the first time and whom I actually remembered to bring in the car on Thursday. My chances of ever receiving a “Best Father-In-Law Ever!” award will only go down from here.

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