and how ARE you doing? they ask. . .
Being a temporary single parent is better AND much worse than I thought. I’m tired and frequently lack the motivation to sit in front of an intelligent movie once the kids are in bed, prefering to stay connected to the outside world and the interwebs–my husband is out there somewhere–through my computer. Maybe lame, but true. A laptop may give you a warm lap (ugh) but it cannot warm the heart. Yadayadayada.
The logistics of single parenting two kids are occasionally frustrating. This week I have picked up a kid late from school because I thought she had a Brownie’s meeting and she didn’t. (oops) I followed that stellar parenting performance with helping her pull out a front tooth and then FORGETTING to play tooth fairy. sheesh, Jennifer, get a grip! She knows I am the tooth fairy but was sooo hurt this morning when nothing was under her pillow. Mom = Toad, get used to it.
Those are minor emotional bumps, though, compared to the emotional ditches and gullies that lurk behind every blind corner in this house. Ingrid has been whiny and pathetic all evening and, par for the course, when it gets to bed time, she throws herself on the floor in a fit and begins weeping unconsolably for her Daddy. You see, you never know if she is suffering from general 5-year-old crankiness that the world is not as she would, in her infinite wisdom, have crafted it, or if there is some issue lurking behind the drama. Tonight, score one for the issue. So, we talk about what, specifically, each of us misses about Daddy. (I’m all about acknowledging our shared feelings here, people. It’s not all parenting failure around here.) So, she says: I miss his voice. And I love him. (pause) He’s my Daddy. (I’ll look away whilst you wipe that tear out of the corner of your eye. I need to blow my nose anyway.)
Greta is only slightly less inclined to melodrama. She prefers to weep silently in the corner of her room, waiting for you to notice something is amiss in her heart, so that she can talk about missing Daddy while one solitary tear dribbles down her cheek. She, too, mentioned missing his voice. Ironic, really, since his voice is all they really have access to. I think it’s the unmediated voice they miss, the voice connected to the body–the whole physical presence.
This is going to be a LONG year.