The Vagaries of Fatherhood

Last night my daughter was asleep by 8:30; which is a victory.   Unfortunately, her body decided to wake her at 4am this morning.  I managed to get her tucked in with me and back to sleep by 4:45, but then she decided to wake up again at 5:30 and didn’t go back to sleep at all.

I had planned to go on a day trip to Clearlake (about 70 miles away) to visit my mother’s grave today, as tomorrow is the observed anniversary of her death.  She actually died on September 7th, but it was Labor Day that year, so even though I was only six and barely remember the actual incident (I wasn’t living with her when she died), in fact I think my “memory” of being told is actually just remembering what people told me happened when they told me years later, “Labor Day” seems an easier and more solid anniversary date.  Especially since I have to work on the seventh.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not getting all morbid over here.  But my mother died when I was six, and that influenced a lot of my life.  And, being a dad now, I find I miss her more often, especially when her granddaughter does something funny or adorable and I flash on the fact that her grandmother missed all of it.  Her “Nana” is my mother’s sister, and was an important–probably the MOST important–part of my life growing up, a mom in nearly every respect.  But as much as I think it bothers her, that will never totally replace the want in me for my mom, no matter how messed up she was when I was a kid.  I will forever wonder what might have been, if my grandfather and aunt had managed to straighten my mom out.

Anyway, I’d planned on that trip today, but with my kiddo waking up at so unworthy an hour, I’m kind of afraid that if I put her in a car for two hours there and back (or close to that), she’ll sleep.  And anyone who knows my kid knows that if she naps, we’re in for a miserable night.

Also, my wife is out of town, and if she’s planning on coming back before the evening, I’d like to be here for her.

So instead I’ll probably do my kid’s laundry, and mine, and clean the house from the wreck my daughter and her bestie made of it yesterday.  Maybe Monday will be more fun.  Ha!

Published by Michael R. Johnston

Father of an eighth grader, high school English teacher, writer. Fifty years old and feeling almost every bit of it on some days, and not a bit of it on others. Based in Sacramento, California, USA

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