Sunday, February 20, 2011

The Thin Line

I know we partnered parents say it every time one of the partnership is away, so it feels very trite to say it here. But I do wonder. I really do.

How in the world do single parents do it? Day in and day out, the thin parental line is kept in place by just one adult. How?

Pete has taken on a project which has him essentially gone all week. This past week, he left Tuesday with the intention of coming home Saturday afternoon and then going back again Tuesday morning. He called yesterday to say he would have to go back up Sunday rather than Tuesday. That's just the nature of the game he's in. Add in a plane delay getting back yesterday, and we end up blessed with his presence for about 18 hours.

[And, no, he didn't come home just to refill his prescription drugs. But thanks for thinking that. Oh, wait, I'm the one who teased him about that. Carry on.]

It is Youngest who misses him the most, and that yearning for his dad ultimately wears on him until the point that his mother screams, "Stop being a freakin' asshole" and sends him to his room. For the first of several times yesterday. [And might I just add that his time imprisoned in his room was blessedly peaceful for his mother?]

Eldest has stepped up to the plate. God bless 14 year-old first-born sons. He is solicitous. He does things for me unasked. He stays upstairs with the rest of us abandoned souls at night, watching movies and playing games. He even puts up with Youngest for extended periods of time.

This week is Ski Week. The kids are out of school all week long. Let me repeat that. The kids are out of school all week long.

It is also the week my ginormous project wraps up, culminating in a pow-wow with the state next Tuesday. I have about 60 hours of work to do in preparation: cleaning data, tracking down inconsistencies, writing up the technical summary, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.

Did I mention the kids are out of school all week long?

I guess it's a blessing that I wake up so damn early in the morning. I get a good two or three hours of work in before anyone else arises. Let's hear it for whatever ails me!


Patois42 said...

And while you're here for 18 hours, dear, please clean the fish tank, put the scraps in the compost, change the flickering light in the living room, play soccer for an hour in the morning, and provide other "services."

Peter said...

Let's see.....I cleaned the Fish Tank, I did the composting, I changed the light bulb, I went to the frozen field and played football in the ice, I went to the bank and left money, I went to the Donut shop and got breakfast for the kids, and as for the other services...I live to serve!!!

That was a pretty busy 18 hours!

Lori said...

So, does it count as being a single parent if one of the parents is at work for 12 hours every day? I thought so! So, I can relate. But I got a respite for four blissful days...Bruce took the kids skiing (it IS ski week after all, no?) I guess this is supposed ot make up for the rest of the year when he's at work 12 hours every day. Did I mention he leaves at 7:30am and gets home at 8:30PM? Oh wait! That's not 12 hours! It's 13! My bad.

mayberry said...

I've been in a similar boat these past several days. Dragging an underslept 5-year-old to a 12-hour long figure skating competition was probably the low point.

Tara R. said...

The Hubs goes out of town in a few weeks. I only have one kid at home, and he can drive on his own, but it's totally different with just me at home to handle whatever emergencies arise, and they will arise.


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