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Published April 07, 2009, 12:00 AM

Brooks: Father flooded with love

The boys recently came home for the first time in three weeks ... literally.

By: Devlyn Brooks, INFORUM

The boys recently came home for the first time in three weeks ... literally.

Before this 10-day marathon flood event started and kept me busy nearly every day and night at The Forum, I was sick with strep throat for a week, and the week prior to that the kids were at their mom’s house. Needless to say, it was far past the time for Dad to see the kids.

Judging by all of our responses, it was difficult to tell who missed whom more. The Bug – my youngest – was in my hip pocket all night, and Garrett, a normally very mature 11-year-old, was acting crazy goofy because he was back home. It was a helluva homecoming for all of us.

The house was still a mess. Dishes were piled in the sink, clothes piled up everywhere, the bathroom looked like hell, etc., etc., etc. But even though it was all an eyesore to me and I really, really wanted to get it cleaned up, I let it slide. The boys wanted attention, and I sorely needed it, too.

So, we grabbed something to eat at our favorite little Chinese buffet (because there was a one-fourth-full jar of peanut butter, a couple of eggs and some cereal left in my house) and went home and played army men on the kitchen table.

I thought, “Screw the dishes, the dirty floors, the dirty clothes, and everything else.” Everyone must have been feeling the same about the reunion: The two family cats each took up a post on either end of the table to watch us, and Massey, the family pup who also was evacuated for the past 10 days, laid underneath my chair. All six of us were within a 6-foot-square space – the rest of the eight rooms in the house were deserted. Evidently I wasn’t the only one comforted by the short period of normalcy.

And when we wrapped up play time, the entourage followed me to sleep. While it’s not unusual for the Bug to join me in my bed at some point during the night, that night Garrett wanted to crawl in with us as well. It’s been a long time since my big guy has felt the need to sleep with Dad, but evidently three weeks is pushing his limits, too.

So we stuffed into my not-so-big regular-sized bed, and we made do; myself, Bug, Garrett, the two cats and Foxy Roxy – Bug’s stuffed animal who looks like the fox in the Dr. Seuss book “Fox in Socks.”

Thankfully, for all of us, Massey decided to sleep on the floor next to me. I don’t know that we could’ve taken one more.

I wouldn’t say that any of us got the best night’s sleep in the world, but I wouldn’t give it back for anything. It was a good, good homecoming.

Readers can reach Forum News Editor Devyln Brooks at (701) 241-5505.

Brooks’ blog can be found at www.areavoices.com/singledad