reality shows

(day 16)

I’ve learned lots of lessons about life and about myself over the past few years. As teachers we must always strive to also be students. There were a few years back there where I neglected this aspect of being a person. One thing I have learned is that while it feels or is sad and/or pathetic to be lonely and secluded, it feels that way tenfold when you are lonely and in public.

 

It’s my non kid having weekend. I have fallen into a pattern where that means I hermit myself into isolation. I am a hibernating solo act. It’s better than it was back in the non-learning times when I took my “free” time and my hibernation act on the road. Me at a bar. Talking to as many people as I do now on such occasions, usually none, but in isolation out in the world. I’ve since traded bar stools or movie theater seats for one for my TV and my solitary mind.

 

I stay very busy by design and by the nature of life. I do not embrace this loneliness nor do I mean to romanticise it in any way by Slicing it up here. This is a non-kid weekend and last night and tonight I found myself presented with plans and I agreed to join the world to varying degrees. Weekends to me, all weekends, as a dad mean family. Reconnecting and relaxing. I would never have chosen to have non-kid weekends. Ever. As with all my posts this is just my personal perspective. I’ve talked to many single parents who look forward to their non-kid breaks and I don’t think they’re weird or anything. Their reality is theirs and I’m always happy for them and what I assume is a well deserved break. I am also fully aware that parents find themselves in untenable situations wherein a decision must be made to consciously set up a future which involves non-kid weekends. Abuse and neglect and a million other unfortunate human errors and misdeeds. I only know my heart. I did not choose non-kid anything and I don’t know that I’ll ever not hate it or be used to it. But I also learned that reality is reality and while there are many methods through which reality can be escaped, none of them are real or lasting or very healthy. One must accept and dwell in their reality, even while hoping and efforting to change it daily.

 

Both boys called or texted me with stories of their non-dad portions of their days. I got to watch Middle Guy play his last basketball game before turning it over to baseball full time. I coach that so that means less non-kid stuff. I saw a video of the Big One’s best shot put throw ever which happened while watching the basketball game. Middle guy called to give me a play by play account of his buddies’ championship basketball game which we fell a game short of in the loss today. I was able to tell both how proud I was. Kid or non-kid, I’m their dad and that’s part of reality too.

 

So this weekend I’m trying to be out and about and shove the lonely part aside while engulfed in the world. Be present whilst leaving my shell next to my TV where it will be waiting tomorrow. I will pack tomorrow with hermited last minute school week prep and the gym and probably some DVR action and reunite with my solitude and reality before the hustle and bustle leads up to kid weekend. And kid infused spring break. I will learn from this weekend and next as well. Different kinds of learning but all in the name of being a better man. Otherwise, what are we doing with all this time that I know, one day, won’t seem like so much at all?  I don’t want my reality to be this but the good thing is that I know, all too well, that realities are fluid. Patience, effort, and dedication – those will one day get my reality to where I can be the same me without thought, in hibernation and out in the world.

7 thoughts on “reality shows

  1. I never really thought about how a parent feels on a non-kid weekend. As I stumble through crazy never ending parenting days I kind of envied my sister’s “breaks”. Thank you for sharing your perspective.

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  2. This was a powerful post and I appreciate your contemplative assessment of what it means to be a single parent on those weekends without your kids. The last line of your post is one that I reread several times and although I’m not in your situation, I think that your words are meaningful for anyone who feels as though they are straddling two worlds. Thank you for sharing your post!

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  3. I am a single parent and never have non kid weekends as my spouse passed away. I share your feelings on hibernating, as I do it myself on many occassions. As I am told we have to put ourselves out there even when we don’t want to- easier said then done. The weekend will pass as it always does, in the meantime I hope you enjoy something in the time you have without the kids.

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    1. I’m really sorry if i came off ignorant or short-sighted here. Wrapped up in my own cocoon with this Slice. I’m so sorry. That is a whole other perspective i have to admit i didn’t consider in my haste to get these thoughts out. Thank you for your input. It may never get “easier” but I truly hope for so much happiness in your future and that of your family.

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