Parenting Blog

Luxury Exactly When I Need It Most

Tonight I navigated a minefield of half thoughts, forget-me-nots, botched assignments, personal responsibilities, overpriced mac-n-cheese, and frantic text messages flung from one coast to the other in a hopeful bid to nail down some semblance of a plan.

I’ve been a terrible friend, and a worse husband, father, and son. I hadn’t responded to the people who are relying on me. I neglected to wish my dad a happy father’s day a couple weeks ago. I flippantly told my girls to zip it a few hours back. I didn’t want to kiss my wife goodbye when it looked like I was set to not see her for 6 days.

Never before have I been this unaware, this non-present for my own life. Ideas that seemed solid, quips capable of maybe bringing someone a smile, the Pop! figures we couldn’t find but not for lack of trying, the sides of strangers’ faces, single notes of terrible songs, the per pound price of prepared foods, the coupons I didn’t bring with me, the writing job I messed up; wispy ghosts of all of those things and more swirled about me tonight. They elbowed me in the gut, slapped me across the face, stared me down cold, turned their backs and walked away without a care. Not even a pissed off F-you, a middle finger fading away in the distance. Nothing.

If my daughters weren’t with me, I would’ve likely broke down and cried on the wooden bench outside the grocery store restroom. I was a tourist in the most foreign place on Earth and nothing made sense.

Tomorrow morning, in a handful of hours from now actually, I’ll turn my Sorento over in the hazy grey light of morning after having slid as quietly as possible out of the house. I’ll be extra careful not to wake any female or feline looking forward to a lazy Sunday beneath sheets or on top of them. To each her own.

The reality of what comes next is bringing me some peace tonight.

Tomorrow, I will breath in the warm, salt-air sunshine of southern California and my entire being will exhale.

Tomorrow I will become unburdened by the thoughts refusing to be pinned down.

Tomorrow I will sink into the stitched pillowtop softness of a Kia Cadenza front seat and I will drive to remember how fortunate I am to have the people and cats I have in my life, how fortunate I am to be able to let my girls spoon that expensive pre-prepared, price per pound mac-n-cheese into those eco-friendly code 623 containers, how fortunate I am to be loved even though I forget, neglect, snap, and sometimes don’t want to pay that love back in kind.

Tomorrow, a Cadenza, the color of which I do not know and frankly do not care, will deliver me luxury exactly when I need it most. I sit here tonight, next to one of my cats, on my sofa, completely ready to accept that luxury with open arms and a clearer mind.

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