"5 more minutes and it's dinner time," I called to Josie and Owen as they ran around the grassy lawn in front of our townhome.
“But daddy's not home yet,” Josie said stopping dead in her crocs.
“Daddy's not going to be home until after dinner," I said.
“He can't do that AGAIN!” Josie yelled as she stomped her left croc into the grass and crossed her arms in front of her pink polka dot hoodie.
Normally, I would have chastised her for acting her bratty antics. But I let it slide. My husband was in a training class and was working past 7:00 pm every night this week. Her annoyed reaction actually made me smile because it meant she had completely forgotten about the days when we lived in Morgan Hill and daddy getting home by 7:00 pm was considered early.
There are a lot of things I love about living in Mountain View. But even if Mountain View didn't have so much to offer my family, I would still happily call it home – because anywhere that is 6 miles from my husband's work is a great place to call home.
For 5 years, my husband commuted from Morgan Hill to the Silicon Valley. For the last 3, I was at home with two toddlers. And as much as I complained about wanting him home earlier so I could get some help with dinner and bath, my husband was the one who suffered the most. He left early and came home late - to a wife who was ready to pull her hair out and two children who were ready for bed.
I am not sure if every parent who lives in Mountain View and commutes to near-by offices appreciates just how lucky they are. We struggle at times with the cost of living, the congestion on El Camino, and the back-up on 101 when there is a concert at Shoreline. But when bad traffic adds another 10 or 15 minutes to your commute – for most people - that's considered a good day.
My daughter's reaction to her dad missing dinner for the second night in a row reminded me of another reason why I love this city and the opportunities it offers my family – most of all the opportunity to spend more time together.
"Daddy's home!" Josie and Owen screamed as they scrambled down the stairs and straight into their father's arms. I followed closely behind,looking exhausted and drenched from giving the kids their bath.
"You already got your bath," my husband asked with a frown on his face. He looked up at me like I had just cancelled Christmas. He looked forward to bath time - that was his thing. 'You can have it,' I thought pushing up my soaked sleeves.
I can't wait until our routine returns to normal next week, so I can enjoy some quiet time while my husband gives the kids their bath. I guess maybe we are all a little spoiled and thoroughly enjoying the benefits of my husband's quick commute.