This divorce is still kicking my ass over here. Not in any specific way, really. I get by. I’m fine, adjusted more or less. I don’t pine for the old days much anymore. I don’t sit around wasting time, wondering how any woman couldn’t WANT to be with me 24/7 for the rest of their lives. (The mysteries of life, they make no sense at all!)
Most days, I roll along, chin up, forward motion, three little kids dancing up and down my heart.
But the divorce still kicks my ass when it comes to time, you know? Time with my kids, I mean. It isn’t a divorce exclusive. I know that. Every modern mom and dad struggles with the balancing act we have to perpetuate every moment of every damn day. More and more now, I find myself getting tipsy off that 6:30am anxiety wind that blows me around my weekday morning kitchen.
I’m over here making lunches.
I need to be over there pouring cereal into bowls.
I’m over by the fridge wondering why I over by the fridge.
I need to be upstairs waking deep sleepers up.
Parenting young kids (mine are 7,5, and 2) is basically cows in a tornado. We’re spinning around, no idea what the hell is happening, trying to find our feet in the middle of one scary ride.
I end up missing the one-on-one thing with my kids more than I care to admit. It’s embarrassing to me. I want it so bad and yet I rarely make it happen. Their mom and me came up with this concept of splitting them up on Tuesdays, and that’s helped a little. We have these Father/Son Nights. Or Mommy/Boy Nights. Or Mommy/Daughter Night.
Or Daddy/Daughter Night.
I feel like I’m failing her though, my Violet. I know it’s morose and self-defeating to say stuff like that when I’m obviously doing at least close to the best I can, but whatever. I want to punch myself in the face sometimes when I look back on a month and calculate the time we got to spend together, just me and her.
It’s hardly anything, man. It’s here and there. It’s a few waking hours tops. I get to wondering if it would be different if there was no divorce, if we’d managed to make it last. But there’s no point in that. There is divorce, you see. There is a mountain of divorce all up in here and it ain’t going anywhere. Divorce is staring at me from over by the TV.
Divorce is like Eleven from Stranger Things glaring hard at me while I’m sweeping up this morning’s Cocoa Puffs off the kitchen linoleum. “Stop f*ckin’ looking at me, dude! Damn!”
I need to do more. We all do. The dad/daughter relationship is so magic. But it requires time. Divorce, no divorce, I don’t even care. Chances are that you and me are the same if you’re a dad who loves his daughter to the point of wanting to walk out in front of her on ‘nature hikes’ or whatever just to make sure that if a goddamn rattlesnake decides to sink it’s lame fangs into anyone today. it’s going to be you, not her.
You know what I’m saying. I know you do.
This Presidential election that just went down, if nothing else, it slapped me in the face with the broken beer bottle of abject ignorance. I’d always known there was a lot of problems out there for women, even in 21st Century America. But dude. I really had no idea. I had no idea how many sexist men there were among us. Or sexist women, for that matter. (Oh it’s true, y’all. There are A LOT of women out there who VEHEMENTLY REJECT strong, independent women. You know who you are, ladies).
So I’m going to make more time for Violet. She needs me now even if she doesn't know it. And I need her even more. We need each other, to bounce ideas off of, and to talk about everything. All of it.
How boys talk to girls.
How boys treat girls.
How girls treat each other.
How the world is not fair. At all
And then…pizza. Root beer. Pokémon on the tube. Maybe a little hike if it isn’t too cold. Dad up ahead looking for rattlesnakes, even in this cool fall weather. Dad up ahead looking for rattlesnakes that never even cross her lovely little mind.