It is 6:00 AM, I am sleepy from a poor night’s sleep and know my alarm is going to yell at me in 30 minutes to get up. In that time, I am thinking off all the things I will have to do today, the things that have to get done at work and the fact that I have a meeting with a group of physicians for some new business opportunity which causes a huge lump in my stomach.

My alarm is now blasting at me to wake up and get ready for the day that I inevitably will have to face.

I get up shower, brush, shave and get dressed. I go to the kitchen and start my routine of making my coffee and breakfast.

It is now 7:30AM and this is the best part of my day.

This is the time my daughter wakes up and I get to spend an hour with her in her “routine.” I hear her in her room pretending to read her book (she is 2) on the monitor and I know that is my cue to go upstairs to her room and say good morning.

She always greets me with a “Good Morning, Dada” and hands me the book she was reading to continue from where she left off.  I pick her up, she gives me the biggest hug and points at the window to open up the blinds to let some light in. We sit on her chair and continue to read her book (this morning was a Halloween Wheels on the Bus) and she sings along with me as we read. With Halloween coming up, we have taught her to say, “Halloween Boo” in which I pretend to get scared when she does it. She gets a kick out of that, and we do it for 10 minutes with her continuously giggling every time.

She then asks for some water; in which I tell her we have to go downstairs to get. She has been doing this thing lately where when I say something, she will say it back in a form of a question as to clarify she understood correctly. We head downstairs, get some water and a snack, usually granola, and then she asks about her mom and if she is still sleeping. I confirm that she is sleeping (which she then confirms to me in a form of a question) and asks if we can wake her up. We then proceed to head into the bedroom to wake her up. Her mom wakes up and she climbs into bed with her and tells her about our morning (her mom knows everything already because it’s the same thing every morning).

I say this is the best part of my day not because she does anything new or she shows me any extra love then she does in any other time I spend with her, but because in this moment (the 1 hour I spend with her in the morning) I forget about everything else. I see my daughter and my wife sitting in bed and playing and everything I do is worth it. All the stress, lumps in the stomach, and dread is all worth it because I know I do it for them.

At the end of the day, the stress of everyday life with work, bills, health and whatever else is a blip on the radar when it comes to the joy, happiness and love I derive from my little girl.

The best part of my day is her.

by Alain Sayegh