My son cried tonight because Daddy was leaving. A sight that I have seen all too much over the past five years, and after a little break of him being home, I must admit, I shed a few tears too.
We have been used to his disappearance week after week for work , month after month, tending to duties for his job, leaving behind the rest to provide us with the best….but that didn’t mean I didn’t get angry.
For when a spouse travels for work, it’s no secret for the one left behind at home to feel the hardship day after day, night after night tending to their children as a physical sole provider, for every need, every tear and every request. A resemblance to some as living the life as a single parent, if even for temporary moments compared to one big lifetime journey together.
…Because it is so hard not to feel left alone, somewhat isolated and somewhat forgotten about, leaving behind a voice of frustration upon the little bodies that rely on someone to still make them feel safe when the other is gone because they feel it too…and they do not want to be forgotten about either.
….I spent a big period of these years feeling angry that I had to stay home with my children, feeling like a slave to their every need, while my husband was out eating dinners with colleagues as I munched on nibbles of macaroni and cheese or cheerios for dinner…… I am disgusted by my selfishness.
..since it was I who got to kiss them goodnight every night and if I did not, it was by my own choice to not be here. And has been me who was available to cuddle up tears and to give my children guidance to make the right choices, but to be aware that it is okay to make mistakes along the way as well. How can I be angered by this? Why is spending 10 days with my children alone and in a row seen as a punishment, when so many others may never even get the opportunity to have one day as a parent. How dare I feel resentment to a husband who will work until he falls over to provide a good life to the ones he cares about, all the while so frequently never being able to smell his child’s breath before whispering sweet dreams? Does Filet Mignon shower more importance than having to make dinner for the 8th day in a row for a child who doesn’t want to eat it? No, it’s not, but I forget that…but
…is also so easy to forget about the loneliness of the one who is on the road, left to fend for himself. Or for the one who has to go to bed at night in a deadly silence that we at home dream about…and when we get it, don’t want it. It is they ……who must sit at dinner at a bar listening to the Piano Man, wishing they could be anywhere but there and told they are loved. They are the ones with the missed opportunities of their’ child’s first steps or the funny things the little ones said…moments that have passed by like they never even happened at all. And yet, we complain that it’s not good enough.
…When does it stop? When does the point system of who gets to have what and who doesn’t, go away. When you become a family, you make an agreement. Everyone has a role that makes the family work…to have those defining moments of comfort when you are apart, that the other one has your back…whether in thought or physical presence. It doesn’t work if the previous doesn’t exist…and then nobody wins.
…It’s about remembering why you decided to be here in the first place….for if it was about the filet mignons, you would never have made the choices you made…, and it’s time to remember that the next time the one chair is missing for dinner, it’s not because he wants it to be…its because he’s out there trying to make the dinner possible in the first place.
Be true, be you and appreciate what you have….because you have been lucky compared to someone else who never knew what being a parent was like and wanted to….