Trial & Error- Tales From the Edge of Parenting – All Quiet on the Home Front
It should be the cause of great heartache and loss, but it actually feels like a vacation. I'm going on vacation next week, and it won't be nearly as relaxing as these next four days prior to the actual vacation. Why? Because the house is empty, and the only living things in my house are myself, the dog & the lizard. Please don't point out that there may be a few snakes in the house because I'll have nightmares.
My wife took the two kids to her parents' house in San Antonio until I pick her up Sunday and head to the beach. Let me just say that I love my family, and I enjoy (just about) every second of every day I get to spend with them. I'm certainly one that enjoys the "here & now" of everyday life. But I also enjoy a little peace & quiet. My wife's summers off (teacher) allow her & the kids to travel to see family and friends. That's great for her and the kids, but it leaves me at home alone... a lot. Not as much as when her family lived in Virginia or when we lived in Alaska, but it's still a lot. Over the years I've just had to adjust to long periods without the kids & my wife, but after a while you begin to turn into Jack in The Shining.
I feel there's a lot of misunderstanding as to exactly what I do when I'm home without my family. I'll explain what my family probably imagines goes on when they're not around, and I'll give you the truth... the sad, sad truth.
My Wife- When my wife and I first became a couple after being friends for seven years prior, she imagined my nights filled with many different women, each begging for a piece of this. To this day I'll get accused (sometimes jokingly, sometimes not) of having strippers over to the house when she's out of town, when in actuality it's only been once. She thinks as soon as she walks out the door a disco ball drops from the kitchen & there's a gang of women hiding behind the back fence waiting for the front door to shut.
My Kids- Tyler & Logan can never get enough dad. True, it's because I work A LOT and don't have a ton of time for them. The little time I do have is divided three different ways, so each member of the family clamors for my time. I can imagine Tyler thinking the Xbox doesn't get turned off from the moment he leaves until he's opening the front door upon his return. He thinks I sit around in my boxers playing Call of Duty from sunrise to sunset. Logan probably thinks... Oh, who am I kidding? Logan has such a great time wherever he goes that he doesn't think anybody's having a better time than him.
Truth- Every time my wife leaves for San Antonio the house stays as-is right up to the point when she gets home. Unless there's food in the sink that's gonna stink up the house... it stays. I know, it would make perfect sense to just clean the house on that first day and enjoy the comfort of no stepping on toys or tripping on the boys' dirty clothes... but I don't. I wait until she calls from Salado to tell me she's 30 minutes out before I hit the ground running. I clean the kitchen, vacuum the living room & hose down the bathrooms. I live a sad, quiet existence when it's just the animals and me. We watch a lot of SportsCenter & I catch up on DVR. I go to bed when I want and wake up when I (or my boss at work) want.