Okay, I’ll admit it. It’s wearing me down. This single parenting thing. And I don’t even know what it is about it! My wife is home on weekends, and the kids have, so far anyway, been in school during the daytimes. The amount of time that I have to be “on” is not all that much more than it was before. Is it just the knowledge that immediate spousal support is not readily available? Do I feel the absence of the safety net? Or could it just be all of the other stuff, medical, musical, and more, that is going on right now that combines with the single parenting to bring me to the end of my rope?
I woke up yesterday morning, and I just wasn’t having it. The morning, I mean. Or the day. Or the kids. Or life. I stumbled around the house, unable to deal with the normal whining and sniping of two children getting ready for school. Everything they said or did made me want to get into my car and drive to not here, and then stay there. Each small request felt unreasonable and impossible. Every task that was required of me, from making a sandwich, to turning socks the right way round, threatened to crush what little strength I had left, and I was moments away from crawling between the couch cushions and hiding in the springs of the sofa for several days of uncontrolled weeping.
But I did not have time for that. Because we had to get to school. And the bus was coming. And I had a rehearsal. And I needed to go to the pharmacy. And we were out of peanut butter. And. And. And. And so I continued on, making my way through a day of errands, rehearsals, meals, children, and general stuff. When did I have the chance to sit and lament my fate? Thursday is not a good day for lamenting.
No, it became clear that, if I was going to have a nervous breakdown of some sort, it was going to have to be a short one, no more than 30 minutes or so, and I was going to have to fit it into my schedule. Today seemed like a good day for one, maybe in the morning while Edward watched television. Except when we were riding our bikes home from from dropping his sister off at her school, he said to me, “Let’s go on a bike ride!”
Of course I said no, I had too many things to do, like tear my clothes, and gnash my teeth, etc. But he asked again, and I thought, “Why not?” So off we went on a bike ride. We played on the playground, we went in the treehouse, and we went down a big hill as fast as humanly possible. And then we wiped out. Hard. Well, only one of us. All I could do was watch as Edward flew off of his bike and slid quite a ways down the pavement, and as I jumped off of my own bike I was wondering how many of his limbs were going to still be attached when I got to him.
He wasn’t even bleeding! Thank goodness for helmets and small miracles. But he was upset. He had never taken a spill like that before, and he was wailing. After making sure that nothing was broken, and examining his new collection of road rash, I held him in my lap for about thirty minutes, and when I realized that he was not going to stop crying, and we certainly were not going to be riding our bikes home at this point, I started to wonder what I was going to do. Because my instinct was to call my wife, and have her come pick us up. Except that was impossible.
So I called a friend. And she came and picked us up, making ambulance noises the whole time, and then, to show Edward that his bike was not scary, she attempted to ride it. She actually did pretty well on the tiny bicycle, until she decided to try some sort of trick of going up a hill, which then caused her to also wipe out and tumble head-over-heels onto the sidewalk. Luckily, she survived, and we made some ambulance noises for her too, after she found her shoe.
And now that we’re home again, and he is watching “Dinosaur Train,” I can finally have my nervous breakdown. Except, suddenly, I’m just not really feeling it. My wife is coming home tonight. I have friends that I can rely on to help out in emergencies. The kitchen has stayed relatively clean for almost 24 full hours. What do I have to be upset about? Maybe I’m getting the hang of this “life” thing after all. Or maybe everything is just a little better on a Friday. Either way, I’m going to go get some cuddles on the couch, and I’ll talk to you all again on Monday. I’m sure I will have a song in my heart, and some kind words to say about that day as well. Everybody loves Mondays, right?