Friday, July 17, 2009
I rarely let myself cry anymore. It's something I've learned. Sometimes you start and you can't stop.
But last night, my kids broke my heart.
They haven't seen their dad since Sunday afternoon. Tuesday he said e couldn't come because he was moving. Tonight he promised our son he would be here at 5:30, then 6PM. My kids get antsy when they don't see their dad. They don't want to talk to him on the phone. They get restless. My son kept asking me if his dad was coming and like a fool I said yes. So did his dad.
At 4pm he called and he was still about 2 hours away by car and had several more meetings. I asked him then if he'd still make it and he said yes. But I stopped telling my son he would come. I made a nice dinner like I do nearly every night. A little after 6 he called and said he still had not even left his previous location. And once again, he had not gone to the bank.
We finished dinner and I told the kids their dad wasn't going to make it. They were noticeably upset so I told them we could walk down to the park. They love to go there. They've been going to bed early and I knew they were tired but I didn't see any other way to break their sadness. So I did the dishes and we left.
On the way my son asked me if his Grandpa was still coming to take him on a bike ride on Sunday. I told him he would. He asked, how come my dad doesn't always do what he says he's gonna do but Grandpa B always does? I told him that if his dad didn't keep his word that was about his dad and not about him. I told him he could always count on his grandpa though and that he should always keep his word and do the things he says he will do.
We went to the park and saw a single dad that we had seen down there every night last year. He used to be very good to the kids, playing catch with my son, including the kids in all the things he did with his own two boys, and letting us play with his big fur-ball dog. I felt close to him in a strange way because I felt that we were both very alone with our children.
We have gotten out of the habit to go every night, but last summer, we went every night after dinner. It saddened me because last year, this dad was alone and this year he was there with a new girlfriend. But I am still alone, in the same situation. Last year, my husband was at rehab and this man was always friendly with me, but I never got too close to him. I was keeping myself for nothing. For this. For all this shit.
But the park was good for the kids. They ran around with the other kids there, played tag, and pet the big fur-ball dog again.
My daughter had a complete meltdown on the way home. I rocked her to sleep and she still sobbed once she fell asleep in horrible gasps. And I sat there and rocked her and cried until the gasping stopped.
My husband had texted me and asked if he could stop by at 8 and I told him our daughter goes to bed at 7 and you will just wind up the boy. But it didn't keep him from calling again and again and again while I was rocking the girl until our son answered the phone and he woke up our daughter.
So then I had to put her back to sleep again and deal with my son, who was wound up. He asked me to spend some time with him downstairs because he couldn't sleep. And then he asked me to carry him upstairs like a baby to his bed. My big long boy was reduced to a babe tonight. By his selfish father.