Every day was the same routine.
Every night, it was the same routine. We could hear his truck from a mile away. We could hear him turn into the neighbor’s driveway to back into ours. By the time we heard him shut off his truck, we were already on our way to the back door.
We’d run to greet him at the door, tripping over each other and the dog. Each of us would stand on our tiptoes to kiss his sun browned cheeks to welcome him home. He always smelled like his job…shingles and tar. He was hot (or cold), tired, and dirty from his long, long days working on high roofs in every type of weather.
He would bend down to untie his work boots. He’d hand us his lunchbox to empty, and we’d hand him a beer to relax with. Then he would retire to his chair at the head of the table to discuss his day with my mom.
Sometimes when we’d open that lunchbox, we would find a surprise that he bought for us. A pack of trading cards, a stuffed animal, candy, anything to make us smile. And sometimes we just simply found his leftover lunch. It wasn’t the chance of a surprise that made us run to greet our Dad every evening, it was just him. Our Daddy. Our hero.