Sunday, February 11, 2007

The Richard Flyby

It happens sometimes; Richard gets assigned back to back trips and we see him for a few hours in between. All told, his travel schedule is far better than it has been in the past, (some of his co-workers travel most of the year) and God knows I love the money it brings in to our family. But I never quite get used to him being gone. And I am glad of that.

He spent half the week in Chicago last week, and left for Germany yesterday. He'll be there until Saturday. It's been a while since he has been gone this long. And I am concerned about how Hayes is going to hold up. We do have the help of Mom and Dad, and of course our circle of friends. This is a good thing. But the pattern remains that on the third day, Hayes has problems at school. You can bet your ass I'll be on the lookout for reports from teachers this week. I am out of ideas, have no more suggestions for how to make it easier for this kid when his daddy is gone. On one hand, I don't want it to be easier - kids need their dads and I am so glad that my son and his father as so tightly bonded. And on the other hand, I wish he didn't have to struggle so much. I'd like to ease his pain just a little.

A friend of mine, in a recent blog post, writes that she has stopped believing that there's an end in sight; just a really long, bumpy road. I am starting to believe this too. Perhaps this is just the way of things for Hayes, for us. He will have to endure this and figure out how to deal and I will be here to comfort him when the frustration reaches its boiling point. Not the solution I was looking for, but perhaps more to the reality of things. How is it that I learn so much from being a parent? And these are not the lessons I would have imagined needing to learn like: baking with your child can be fun, or poop comes in numerous colors, or yelling at your child does not increase his speed (although I have learned these lessons too). Instead, these lessons that I am learning are far deeper and more painful than I ever would have expected. And yet, when Hayes and I have these experiences I love him more fiercely than before. This nebulous role of parenting is nothing if not unexpected.

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