That Bully, The Sun

I have spent my summer driving to places that I myself have no interest in going. The horse barn. Downtown to drop kids off for a movie or a shopping spree. Across town to an art camp. To Eastlake for a kid’s therapy appointment. Airports. Its amazing when I think how much time I spend in the car, hours lost listening to b. o b feat for the 900th time. With kids home, the things I need to do must be crammed into strange half hour slots of waiting between picking one kid up and dropping off another. Ah, the life of a summer parent.

Its lovely to see everyone out, smiles on faces thanking the sun who always manages to bring out the best in us all. And yet, that same sun also seems to stoke that tiny little ember of loneliness in me. Every year, I think I am past seeing the dads riding bikes with their kids, families in a car packed to explosive on their way to some remote trail, couples strolling a beach hand-in-hand. I think “damn,” another summer of warmth and smiles without him, without anyone, (besides my near perfect children of course) to share it. And I think, after all these years, really? I’m still at this place? That’s when that bully sh-sh-should creeps up behind me and boxes me on the ears. I hate that guy.

I shake him off, kick sand in his eyes, but he’s like that one tiny mosquito that finds your ear in the middle of the night. Persistent. I should be over it. I should be with someone. Arron should be raising his kids. I should be a better mother, as if I even knew what that meant.

I know all the advice. I am actually falling asleep every night to meditation podcasts. How 2010! Calming my mind. Getting in touch with the source. And yes, OK, its helping. But damn it if I don’t wake up at 6:30 every morning with that damn sun in my eyes.

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  1. Theo Nestor July 29, 2010 at 7:27 pm

    i hear ya. in fact, i feel like i could’ve written this post myself. I’ve been schlepping a certain 15 year old from here to Kingdom Come,

  2. annie July 29, 2010 at 9:36 pm

    What exactly do people mean when they say “should be over”? Over what? Wishing? Wanting? Not wanting? I don’t think anyone can say that they don’t wish, want or not want – sometimes.

    Everything has its time and place. I have come to believe that most of us spend a hunk of our time on our own whether it be in the beginning, the middle or the end of our adult-hoods. I still haven’t gotten to a point where my single days equal or are out-numbered by my partnered ones. I think I’ll technically be a senior citizen when that happens (note the “when” not an “if” – how optimistic I am in my mid-life anymore).

    Anyway, that’s not advice, just my pov.

  3. Leslie July 31, 2010 at 4:47 pm

    That sun, it has a way of stirring up an empty void deep within doesn’t it. It’s ironic that something so glorious and warm can instantly shed light on the little tin can of loneliness we all carry inside for our kids’ Dad’s. I have tried to stifle that feeling of “should” when I see a Dad running along side a bicycle, or when I see a family strolling down the street on a sunny evening. Why do these images evoke such a strong response? I too can’t help but think he should be hear to do that, or at the very least, I should be able to not think of all the shoulds!

    Hugs and strength to you Abby.

    PS. I should…no, I WILL follow your lead and try the podcast thing. It sounds very 2010 and downright relaxing.

  4. BigLittleWolf August 2, 2010 at 8:14 pm

    There are significant differences in widowhood and divorce. I’m certainly aware of that. But when there is no partner to help raise children, when you weather battles and struggles alone and go to bed alone at the end of long days, the void is surely similar. I suspect many of the differences are societal, which is another discussion altogether.

    But those “shoulds?” They’re human nature, and for some of us, inescapable, until they’re ready to disappear. I don’t know when that is. We just keep going, don’t we. Parenting, breathing, questioning, wanting.

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