At the Door
There is always someone waiting for me at the door.
Most nights, I suppose, someone is always waiting.
It’s been quite a few days since I’ve posted anything on the site and a large part of that is having to do a lot of work both for my job and for home. Long hours are particularly hard on kids who have only one parent. I think that’s true if your parents are divorced just as much as if one of your parents has passed away. It’s not easy but it’s necessary. That doesn’t make it easier when they get comfort from the fact that you are there, ready, willing, and at least seemingly able to handle any of the issues that may arise.
This week, however, is particularly difficult for all of us.
I had an insanely stressful day on Monday and came home to take one child to the doctor. When I got through the door there was a trail of children extolling the horrors of their day. When I returned from the doctor I was given even more details, followed by punches, angry words and arguing as I made dinner.
It’s here I decided to go to the movies.
I went to see a live streaming performance of a Danny Boyle directed play from London. It was their version of Frankenstein. I’d give you a review, but it’s less about the theater experience and more about my getting away. This week, you see, was weighing on me, too.
The last week in October is always rough for all five of us. October 30th, you see, was Andrea’s – my late wife’s – birthday. I was always torn on that week because a) I always got her the wrong presents. I’ll defend myself a tiny bit because she hated surprises and wouldn’t let me do anything she didn’t know about but she also would get angry when there were no surprises waiting for her. Expectations were far higher than I could possibly meet, but I never could get over that. Then there’s b) I always had to work late because October 30th fell in the beginning of the November television ratings period. November is the big dog, most important, set the ad rates for the year ratings period. Being in a special projects unit I always had pieces running . . . and I always worked late. That being the case, I always made her birthday a nightmare for everyone by being late. Hindsight being what it is I should have really, truly re-prioritized things. Instead I messed it all up.
The theater was practically empty. In fact it was for quite awhile. Then a few older ladies walked in and milled around and gushed about the fact that the theater was empty.
Until they wanted to find seats.
“We can sit up by that lonely gentleman over there,” one said.
Yeah…thanks. Lonely gentleman. Like life, dating, adult conversation, all those things are seemingly twice as difficult for me now that I’m more than a decade removed from the youthful excitement those things held for me. It’s a difficult tug for me, knowing that this week has so much history to it and the fact that I want to move forward.
The week didn’t improve from there. Late evening next…then more meetings at the door. My son has taken to asking me if I had a crush on anyone or dated anyone before his mother. I had to tell him “yes” as it was the truth. Did I date anyone lately? That’s not a question I wanted to ask.
“What if Dad wants to date again,” my daughter asks . . . causing me to droop and want to slap her in the back of the head.
“Well, Dad could just buy a dog,” says one son. “He says he’ll do that after we leave.”
These are the conversations and the issues we dance around this week. My sons suspect I’ve felt the urge for adult company – not even romance but at least someone to have a drink with and commiserate. They just don’t want to really know about it or deal with it.
Regardless, we get closer, each day, and we feel the tug of years past and try to push away from it. Our way is by honoring their mother . . . and celebrating our future. It’s worked so far.
Still . . . the philosophical discussions that hit the moment I hit the door . . . those still hit me like a shock wave.