It’s Sunday—it’s extremely laid back. Coffee, music, and my wife going places with our girls. Pretty typical.
Tomorrow, will be a completely different story. Their mother will leave on a business trip. Which by now, has become a regular occurrence. The girls are assimilating to that reality, each, in their own way. My assimilation is something different. Monday morning I have to default into a parenting zone defense.
I have a meet and greet with my 3 year-old’s pre-school. Something their mother does better, but in her absence, it’s my zone to defend. I have to completely ignore all the things that make me nervous or reluctant to go. My second oldest, needs that from me.
I have picture day to handle. I have to do hair for that—doesn’t sound that important, but the pressure is immense, trust me. Their mother usually is around to make sure their hair looks perfect when the occasion calls for it. I have to cover that zone. I have to calmly plan, coordinate, and execute a solid hair strategy. My oldest needs that from me. That’s apart of my job.
My youngest, is to young to explain why her mother won’t be home at 5:35 in the afternoon. She also doesn’t understand that she’ll be back in a few days, so I have to comfort her uncertainty.
It’s surreal to be in this stage of life. Especially given the stage of life I had came through. The positions couldn’t be more juxtaposed. My resilience and resourcefulness served me well in that previous stage of life and it serves me well now.
These tests, these obstacles as a father have propelled my own personal growth, far more than irrational self-destruction ever could. Monday is on my mind, but it’s not impossible, it’s just going to be difficult. I can’t maintain the intense one-on-one attention that each parent wants to give all of their kids—I just can’t. So, I revert to my zone defense.
These are not problems, they are blessings that often become mislabeled by frustration.