Monday, September 26, 2011

One of Those Weekends

Back when I was in college, one of Those Weekends usually resulted in several days' worth of hangovers. You know, a weekend that has some chunks of time that a missing or hazy, and a weekend that usually had some interesting stories and entertaining pictures resultant. Now that I'm a reasonably responsible adult, it means something entirely different - usually a weekend with less family time than I'd prefer, when the family time isn't exactly the quality time that you'd prefer.

Before The Wife, I was in a long distance relationship. Before it soured, I learned a bunch of lessons about the distance thing, specifically about visits. Visits when you only see each other once a month or every other month are really, really hard; there's a lot of pressure to make every second memorable, and you don't have the time to make up for a misspoken word, a careless gesture, or a thoughtless moment. To some extent, my family time is like that long distance relationship.

I know it's not the same comparison. Even on my busiest days, I still get to see them a little bit - breakfast together in the morning, or stories at bedtime. Something like that. Most days, I have several hours of time in which to spend with them. Before my job started, I was around them around 20 hours per day, every day. When you've spent a couple of years being around your kids for the entire day, it feels awkward and weird and stressful to only be around them for a couple of hours.

I am aware that that is the usually situation and has been the usual situation for most of human history. That's not the point.

Today was a great example of that. The boys and Grandpa and I had a brilliant time at the park, after Mom left to teach Hebrew School. We went to the park, and The Boy made some friends and played a silly variation of Red Light Green Light that involved no actual rules but much tackling and chasing. We had a nice lunch, where I snuggled a baby back to sleep while Grandma fed the boys, and I had a wonderful 30-minute nap with my favorite napping partner. I then left for five hours to teach. I got home in time to help mend a major meltdown by The Boy, and then we went to Chinese food for dinner.

At the restaurant, our kids were Those Kids - you know, the ones you point to and question their parents' abilities to do anything. Thankfully, they fed us quickly, and we were on our way. A minor meltdown or two later, the older boys were in bed.

But, this was a weird day. Having it end like that makes the whole weekend taste funny. The tough thing is that I don't see them much tomorrow until bedtime, so I leave them feeling decidedly undecided about the weekend. Sigh.

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