My Lovely Wife is leaving me for four days. But it’s not her absence that’s left me trembling. We’ve been apart before, and frankly I just pile the dogs up on her side of the bed, cuddle up nice and tight and I hardly notice she’s gone.
(That actually sounded sweeter in my head.)
I’ve been left alone before, and as much as I truly miss her, it’s kinda nice having the house to myself. And right about the time I get bored with staying up late, watching slasher movies and listening to my Iron Maiden records at max volume, she comes home and I remember just how much I love having her around.
This time is different. I’m not being left alone. I’m being left with THEM!
I’m referring to Jellybean and The Diva. For four whole days I’m going to be the lone source of authority, pampering, attention and responsibility. The mere thought of what could happen over the course of the next 96 hours makes me wanna curl up in the fetal position and rock myself to sleep until the nightmare is over.
OK, so that’s a bit melodramatic. But I am nervous.
As parents, My Lovely Wife and I are a good team.
We share the same philosophy when it comes to keeping Jellybean entertained, meaning she can play with anything as long as it’s not toxic and it keeps her occupied long enough for either of us to catch a breath. And when she gets grumpy and clingy, we lovingly pass her back and fourth like a baton in a relay race.
Dealing with The Diva can be as delicate as it is complicated. Adolescence is a tempest, and as parents, all we can do is try to weather the storm without drowning in the emotional tidal wave. This requires patience, understanding and an ability to wield cell phone privileges like a mighty sword of vengeance.
Like a SWAT team raid on a meth lab, dealing with a teenager requires backup. But for four days, I’m gonna have to survive without my partner. When The Diva is in a good mood, she’s a pleasant and accommodating young woman. But one fight with her best friend or the wrong look from a boy and all hell could break loose.
In my heart I know everything will be fine.
I’ll stick to the Mama-is-away-and-Daddy-can’t-cook food groups of Papa John’s, Wendy’s, Zaxby’s, McDonald’s and Arby’s, while watching Lion King and Little Mermaid on a continuous loop for 96 hours.
And as long as The Diva doesn’t need help with her geometry homework and I can convince Jellybean that Mommy’s at work, it should be smooth sailing.
But when My Lovely Wife returns from her journey, filled with thrilling tales of high adventure, strange creatures and a mouth-watering continental breakfast — all of which are common to a nursing conference — I will kiss her sweetly upon the cheek, haul her luggage into the bedroom, lock the door and refuse to let her leave until she promises to never ever leave again.
Contact Brett Buckner at email@example.com.