Yeah, I know, Loverboy as a headline, but it’s appropriate, I promise.
My weeks are crazy, they really are. I’m not looking for sympathy, just trying to give you some context. I work a job that allows me a 40 or 50-hour work week, something that was unheard of even a year ago for me. So to be able to get on the road home at a seemingly consistent time each day is really a great thing for me.
But even then, my evening is spent getting the preparations for the next day all situated. I have to cook dinner, get the kitchen cleaned up, and then get the kids ready for their showers and bedtime routine. Once we get through that we do our “midnight snacks” of cereal with banana and then head upstairs to read a chapter from their book of the moment. Once that’s complete I head downstairs to make their lunches for the next day, maybe make a sweet snack to add to that lunch. I might have some time to play a few songs on my guitar but usually it’s a case of getting some stuff completed, head upstairs, do a load or two of laundry, write here, then try to get some sleep. I get up in the morning, make breakfast for the kids, make sure the lunches are in their hands, get Abbi’s lunch out for her, then head out the door and start the whole thing over again.
It’s just reality. What I hadn’t realized until recently is that I’ve been forced to face these things, the routines I always fought and pushed against. I don’t have a choice, and it’s so interesting to me that I don’t fight them anymore. I guess you always, as a couple, vie for who does what they’re best at, trying to put the other, less desirable things off and hope they get done. I don’t do that at all, I simply get things done. It’s a mentality my wife had when she was here and now I realize how much of her rubbed off on me and I never realized it.
The weekend is our chance to be together. It’s not a mandate, no forced togetherness whether the kids want it or not, it’s just the only time we have. Even then, it’s the time I have to vacuum, dust, do some laundry I didn’t get during the week, but at least get together and do something as the family we are now. Abbi gets to do things with her friends, sometimes the boys and I will go to the park without the girls, but the weekend is our time.
It is hard for some people to understand, but we’re not anti-social. We don’t spend any time just the five of us for fun during the week. Not right now. So the weekends are the time we want to spend with each other. We’ll go to events, visit someone’s house, you name it, but it’s not our priority. My hope is even that, once I get vacations and other things planned, we’ll visit places we’d never dreamed of doing before. We’ll get on a ferry to Alcatraz. Maybe we’ll go to the battlefield at Gettysburg. Hell, maybe we’ll go next Fall to Maine and see the leaves change.
Why? I have to. I can’t keep trudging through the life we were trying to make as a family before Andrea left. I wish we could, I wish we could see the future and she’s there with us, but that reality left with her. What I want now more than anything is for the kids to have their own memories, to have thoughts of life and vacations and fun that don’t have to think about the fact that their Mom isn’t there. Maybe it’s going to Disney or Leggoland, or maybe it’s just taking a picture of each of us standing on a corner in Winslow Arizona, but I want them to be the things we do together.
What’s hardest for people to understand is why I think this way, why I keep us together. Yes, it’s been 8 months, but no, we’re not totally healed. I made a comment months ago: “we’re stronger together than we are when we’re apart.” It’s totally true and absolutely crucial. When I thought we weren’t going to make it here in California, there was not thought about moving while leaving any of the kids here to finish school. We’re together or we stay. Pure and simple.
Life is about the memories you remember on the way to growing up. I may do more and more things without questioning them, but I still play my guitar and there’s a tiny person inside me, the 18-year-old Dave, that still hopes I’ll be a professional musician, though I know it probably won’t happen. But if I stop that younger version from coming out, our journey is over, and that’s the best part. I don’t want this to be over. I can’t let it be. The kids need to walk this road, making their own signposts and taking their own snapshots in their mind’s eye.
So every week I am working for the weekend. I had those opportunities, the times I could play my guitar, join my brother for a gig or just have fun. For that very reason I look forward to taking the time with my kids. I may do nothing more than make a pile of leaves in the back yard and watch them jump in them, but at least we did it together.
Take It Easy by The Eagles. See if you can get the connection tot he post above.