Before I arrived at the office this morning

 ‘Good morning, how are you?’

We’ve all been asked or have asked this a thousand times and we’ve all be guilty of not really wanting to know the answer. Moreover, if we receive a response of anything other than ‘Morning, good and you?’ the entire rhythm of our day could be in jeopardy.

We had thunder last night, not much lightening but thunder could be heard and you guessed it, right at bed time. Hunter dislikes thunder and the sound of fireworks; he shakes almost uncontrollably and breaks out in a sweat. If the sound is overly loud and you mix in lightening, he goes into ‘wookie Chewy’ mode and whimpers for the noise to stop. Lucky all we had last night was thunder and it only lasted until an hour or so after bed time. Long enough though for him to want my spot in my bed which wouldn’t be so bad if he was a still sleeper but I swear this kid runs a marathon in his sleep. Being the good dad, I retreat to the couch and wish my wife a night of peaceful rest all the while knowing there will be no such thing tonight.

Morning brings the promise of another day, Hunter however has other plans, he’s abnormally stubborn, and the bus can’t get here soon enough. All goes well getting the boys on the bus and Michele and I are off on our walk. When school is in session and weather permits we walk; I’ve turned 50 this summer and need all the exercise/activity I can force myself to withstand. Four miles this morning in 50 minutes, the late summer morning weather is hot and muggy, I sweat like a 50 year old but, I’m happy to say I got my walk in.

Back at home I’m hungry and I need hydration, I’ll get a bottle of water and fix Michele and me something for breakfast, the phone rings. It’s the school and Kyle has been missing for 20 minutes, he evidently had a different idea of how his day would start when he got to school than his Para-professional, so he darted off amongst the other 1800 students in his school. Staff had become concerned that they were unable to locate him and the amount of time that had passed since he was last seen, comfortable that he was still within the building, but time to call mom and dad.

Michele heads for the school which is less than 5 minutes away and after being there for another 15 calls for me and asks ‘will you come to the school please, we still don’t know where Kyle is’ not rhetorical.

I shower and drive to the school within 15 minutes and after being there for another 5 minutes and getting briefed on what has taken place so far, I ask if I can make an announcement over the PA system. Wish granted I clear my throat and as clearly and calmly as I can I announce ‘Kyle Krei, this is your dad, please come to the office’ and I repeat one more time and hand the phone back to the office staff. She is quick to add before hanging up ‘you’re not in trouble Kyle, please just come to the office.’

Five more minutes and short of a lock-down the school dean makes another announcement, ‘attention all students, Kyle Krei is in the building but has not been seen, please stop what you are doing and take the next 5 minutes to search the area you are currently in. Please look under desks, around corners, in cabinets, bathrooms and closets. If you see Kyle, please advise the nearest adult.’ Within the next 5 minutes, Kyle is located in a staff only area in the basement of the school, SAFE.

His biggest fear is facing . . . D A D and I am waiting in the lobby, his mother runs to him and she is crying with relief and his class mates are happy to see him and he is S C A R E D when he see’s M E.

I extend my hand and instruct him to follow me, we enter the office and I drop to one knee, ask him if he is okay and beg him to promise me that he will never do this again. He replies ‘K, promise, sorry, love you.’

I send him to his teacher and wish her a good morning, have a great day! I then thank the principal and office for their care and concern and apologize for the inconvenience.  Leaving with Michele, I hold her hand and stop to make sure she is okay; she is shaken not stirred and off we go to continue our morning as if  . . .

Arriving at the office, my assistant greets me with ‘good morning, how are you?’

(Really?! And if I told you would you care or would you even want to know?)

‘Fine thanks, how are you?’

Life is not a contest and we all have crosses to bare, thanks for being here to help me with mine.

Make it a habit to tell people thank you. To express your appreciation, sincerely and without the expectation of anything in return. Truly appreciate those around you, and you’ll soon find many others around you. Truly appreciate life, and you’ll find that you have more of it.
— Ralph Marston


About kellykrei

Husband to Michele Martinson Krei for 34 years and father of 23 year old twin boys, Kyle & Hunter, both endowed with Down syndrome and Autism Spectrum Disorder.
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