I was late getting home from work. Meaning I was late meeting the bus to pick up Rei. Yes, I was a bad Daddy.
I was in an important church meeting. Ordinarily I would have blown it off and left early (which I ended up doing: leaving early anyway) but it was a decision-making meeting about the sale of church property, so I kind of needed to be there. So now I know to account for Rei's school days in my meeting schedules.
I raced home at high speed, trying to be pleasant at the kids waving to me from the line of buses in front of me at the railway tracks. And when I realized the irony of me explaining to Rei about car accidents yesterday, I let up on the gas pedal to a more reasonable level. Were it not for two red lights mere kilometers from home, I would have made it on time.
Two minutes too late, I pull into our driveway. As I get out to the car, I hear a happy cry of "Daddyyyyyy!" and see Rei running to greet me from the neighbour's. Her bus buddies were entertaining her at their house, a couple doors down. Immensely grateful for their hospitality and caring nature, I thanked them profusely for looking after her in my absence.
I asked Rei if she was sad or scared that I wasn't there to get her from the bus. "No." Things did turn out OK. And I'm more damaged by this than she is. Argh. Blah. Still, if she's in therapy, years from now, talking about abandonment issues, I can pinpoint when they might have began.