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A Week Without Him

by Justin N

Having properly spent our first day with our son in New Jersey with his grandparents, doing absolutely nothing, hints of missing him floated around the house all day. We were only a married couple with a cat. 

Sitting down to dinner and some television, we received our first nightly Skype call as an update to his whereabouts. Expecting some kind of conversation from a four year old would set me up only to be reminded of how good this little vacation might be. His silly voices and lack of focus just made for a disappointing first phone call. If only I could have been there to threaten to take something away.

I assume, though, that he is behaving perfectly fine any other time. As a parent, it was a litmus test that I think we tend to offer up way too many times to our children. He's on vacation in a new house with different people and a different schedule. While my mind is in full parent mode, considering options for his actions and my mentality for the rest of the night, I can't take things out of perspective as a person might upon seeing children behaving badly in a restaurant or store. In all truth, he wasn't being bad, he was just being a kid. 

That is a parent missing their child. I am missing the silliness and the jokes and the opportunity to join him. Tasking him to tell me how his day was is not something a lot of parents would do, at least expecting any kind of real, meaty answer. I would expect a silly story a sentence long that I wouldn't understand because he forgot to let half of it out of his mouth and a request to play his favorite songs on the stereo as we drove home, asking if we're going the right way and if I need gas.

Plus, no kid acts in their right mind 30 minutes before bed. That is state sanctioned crazy time.

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