8:15pm -- Thursday Night
The house is hot as hell because the air conditioning needs a shot of coolant (scheduled for tomorrow afternoon). My wife has been out of town on business since Tuesday morning so Riley and I have been the "home team" for a few days -- Marcy will be home tomorrow night.
It's bedtime. I'm sitting in Riley's room, in the dark, in her rocker, sweating, with her sitting on me -- sort of chest to chest. Her latest sleep ritual has been sitting in this position while I sing "Yellow Submarine" by The Beatles over and over until she crashes.
She was halfway singing along as she started nodding off. She raised her head and sleepily turned it over. She was about to put the other side back down on my chest when she raised her head and looked up at me in the dark. We looked at each other for a second and then she stretched her head up and gave me a quick kiss on the lips. She immediately put her head down on my chest and was out in about 90 seconds.
No words. Little light. Just a really nice, spontaneous gesture from a wonderful little girl.
Things like that make it all more than worthwhile. I was going to say that moments like that are like a paycheck, but the reality is that seeing her do well day in and day out is the paycheck.
Tonight was like having the CEO tell you that she thought you were doing a great job.