We’re in our 8th month of being a separated family, where my husband is living out of a suitcase and coming “home” only once a month. We’ve developed routines, habits and inside jokes that are all growing old. We’re rolling our eyes a lot. We’re not having fun. We’re kind of over *THIS*.
On the weekend we were out with friends in Regina(a very RARE moment to go out and socialize) and we were explaining that we are much like a blended family making preparations to move in together. My husband has *his* two kids and I have mine. *His kids* talk to him about their schedules and plans and go to him mostly for issues and advice. *My two kids* do the same with me. Rarely do the 4 kids interact and when they do there’s some awkward moments of over-stepping each others’ turfs. Our home is now MY home. Their home is not my home at all. It is ridiculous.
My husband is also very lonely. He doesn’t socialize much and rarely has a chance to share a laugh with anyone. So, he has taken to creating characters. Yes, make-believe. Believe it. He has an East-Indian character he created years ago who he is now considering introducing to his new Japanese friend. He also has Reba, the lady voice on his GPS who he can talk back to every once in a while~~ for old times’ sake. Anyone feel sorry for him? You should. The guy is going to crack!!
We also make jokes about people we shouldn’t be making jokes about. Don’t worry, it’s not you. Well, at least I’m pretty sure it’s not you. It’s innocent and it’s all we have. He calls me after work on his way home or to pick up or drive our daughter around. He uses his Bluetooth so it’s all legal and hands-free, no worries. But , it’s background noise. He chats with her, I chat with my girls. I make supper, he gets gas. We laugh. I listen. They talk. I eat. We do this for a long time. Just to be IN the moment and in each others’ lives.
We’re starting another long stretch between visits. He gets to go to a hockey game this week with our son so there will be no weekend visit. Next week we have skating carnival here and then a concert where we’ll meet for an evening but that will be it for a couple weeks again. Basically, a 4 hour meeting in the midst of 4-5 weeks of not seeing each other.
I enjoy when we get together because the first glance is like dating all over again. But after that, it’s a series of house-keeping questions, discussions and decisions. There’s always something that needs attention. We have so few hours but we’re still parents and we still have obligations. It’s not all romance and kisses…wouldn’t that be nice?
I’ve had to re-prime the pressure tank on our water system…by myself. Unclog drains. Rescue a dog in the middle of the night. Drive myself home after hitting a deer. Finish all of our business paperwork by myself and a multitude of other menial tasks which sound so easy and mundane but are so lonely and depressing.
He’s had to leave work early to tend to the needs of the kids. Be on call for work several weekends plus dealing with meals, kid schedules and his own needed rest. He does his own laundry and grocery shopping. He drops off and picks up kids from sports and often doesn’t get to stop till after 10 at night. He is tired and lonely and he just wants to sleep in his own bed for more than 2 nights in a row.
And all through this I just keep asking ‘why?’ and ‘when? ‘ I just want to know when it will be over. I just want to stay home with ALL of us for an indefinite period of time and know that when I wake up he’ll be there. I am being selfish, I know. I want all of this ” family ” stuff that others speak of: Sunday dinners, walks in the evening, laundry folding while watching a movie and the busy-ness of a door opening and closing regularly because teenagers have friends and a life. This is all I want. It’s been too long.