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When the Kids Leave: Part 2

This is the second of two post in which I discuss my children leaving home for two weeks. Part one was written just prior to their trip. Part two was written today. The boys come home on Saturday. — Whit

I am a failure. Apparently.

I had high hopes and big plans for the two weeks that my kids were living it up with family in Arizona, and with their return just three days away I can comfortably say that none of it came to fruition, which is, admittedly, pathetic.

I didn’t even make it to the movies.

Here is what this post was supposed to look like:

Wow! Two weeks without kids and I’ve caught up on all of my work, penned a few new chapters in the book, answered the 600 emails weighing down my inbox, exercised daily, cleaned the house, whipped the yard into shape, settled the national debt, and spent some quality time with my wife. What a great time!

And then 500 more words to back it all up.

The only item from the aforementioned list that happened is the quality time. Tricia and I went out for her birthday and had a few dinners made by someone else, which was nice, but one out of a lot isn’t very impressive to anyone keeping score.

However, I am caught up on the DVR. So there’s that. 

The thing is, I worked hard, every single day (even weekends), and I got a lot of stuff done. Perhaps I aimed too high, or perhaps my slow internet connection cost me more time than I care to admit.

Or I am afraid of the overwhelming pile of laundry. Very afraid.

Whatever the reason, one thing is clear — I can’t use the kids as scapegoats for my lack of productivity for the rest of the summer.

Wanted: One scapegoat. Must be distracting. Eating laundry a plus. Housebroken preferred.

As I said, my wife and I did manage to be fairly sociable on a few occasions, and that was fantastic. It was also kind of weird. Most of our friends are parents, and all of our activities with them involved kids. Suddenly we didn’t have kids, which was really, really strange.

Every time a child called “Daddy!” my head would spin, and of course it was never me that the situation required. It was fairly humbling.

At least I could drink more.

My work is not caught up. I am behind on writing chapters. I have 700 unanswered emails. I went on one walk. The house might be dirtier now than it was before the boys left. The yard hates me. I was joking about the national debt. My wife says that she really enjoyed her birthday dinner.

So what did I do for two weeks without kids? I missed them.

Boom! You weren’t expecting that heavy sentiment were you? That just happened.

But it’s true.

Even now, as I sit here writing this incredibly moving post I find my gaze going to the pair of sneakers that someone never put away and that two other someones have stepped over for nearly two weeks without so much as moving them slightly out of the way. They serve as a constant reminder that little boys live here, and I’m not talking about how bad the shoes smell, although that does factor into why we haven’t touched them. The shoes are empty and the silence echoes greatly around them.

And that is how two weeks go without children in the house. I am lost in the melancholy of a shoelace and a pile of unfolded laundry while watching an entire season of Doctor Who over a three day period.

People say that it is good to be without the kids, that we need time to ourselves, and they are probably right, but that doesn’t mean I have to like it.

We are dull in the quiet, and in need of laughs and mischief.

 

Whit Honea can be found writing about whatever he feels like at his personal site Honea Express (Honea sounds like pony) and DadCentric. If you’re really bored you can follow him on the Twitter or Pinterest (his opinions are his own and do not reflect those of Babble or most rational people).

Also from Whit:

Bullies on the Bus

Brave: Boys, Bows, and Bears

Babes in Cars Land

An Award by Any Other Name

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