It hit me when I was standing over the stove one night stirring something (gourmet I’m sure) for dinner; I am an island: a deserted island, standing alone in my family of five.
My husband had just returned home from a business trip back east where he saw many of his old work colleagues and many of our old friends. After a week alone with three teenage boys that was filled with driving them to practice, checking homework, supervising technology and catching up on laundry, I was starved for some adult conversation.
Plus, I couldn’t wait to hear all about everyone back home. Were Kelly and Pete still together? How did he look? Is Jen still dating Mike? Are they engaged? Didn’t Phil and Lara have a baby? My husband, three teenage sons and I were all seated around the kitchen table ready to dig in to dinner and some much missed conversations.
Oh and believe me, the conversation took off. You could feel the excitement as questions started flying, names were being dropped, the analysis, the opinions, the stats! The stats? The what? Hey wait, who is that? What are we talking about? Seats at the Knick game? What about Pete and Kelly, Phil and Lara? Bueller, Bueller— any one?
There it was. You see, I wasn’t the only the one who couldn’t wait for the traveling husband/father to return home. I wasn’t the only member of this predominantly male household that missed my husband. My boys had missed their dad. I saw a special bond between father and sons. The four of them clearly share something that does not include me.
That is when I went to the stove to stir that gourmet dinner. I am island.
I was sad at first, but then I saw how much they were enjoying their conversation. I saw how much they needed their dad. And I was okay with that, with being somewhat excluded, because I was the one they needed a few years ago. I was the one they ran to with a skinned knee or a hand full of dandelion bouquets. And I have faith that in a few years, they will need me again, maybe when their heart is broken or they need to buy the right pots and pans for their first apartment.
So thank you to my husband, for being a great dad and being there when my teenage boys need someone they can relate to. I am okay being an island for now.
But just in case, can someone pass me the Sports Illustrated?