Sunday, September 26, 2010

Strange Sundays...

It's such a strange Sunday...Zo doesn't really want much to do with me, in fact she wants nothing to do with me today. The baseball game I was hoping to go to became something less of an option when the rain started falling sideways. The breakfast we intended to go out for fell apart when Zo stopped listening to us (she's in her own little ambivalent bubble today...very Zoey-centric) and, of course, there's still some obvious decompressing from the week that's happening between my ears. I understand that, but it's dreary and feels as though we're the opposite ends of two magnets. Awkwardly, you don't really have much of an option other than fighting your way through days like today.

It's crazy what the indifference of a nineteen month old can do to you. It bothers me. I get it, I mean, I understand that she's no different than any of us, that she has moods and good days mixed with bad days, etc...mind boggling etc...but it's usually tough to swallow. I don't think Mom's have as many of those days, at least not at this stage of a daughter's life, but Dad's do. It's definitely a reminder that this is often the hardest thing that I've ever done. Maybe a son's indifference would be easier? I don't know, maybe not. It's just that in her I see stories about clouds and rainbows, and excited walks up mountainsides. I hear laughter and excited questions, and I feel her hand reaching for mine...I see and hear and feel those things every day, even if it's only in my head, or maybe it's only in my heart? With Zoey it's sometimes hard to tell because you're always thinking about her.

I wonder how those parents feel who don't know their children, who never take the time to understand them? Since Zoey was born I feel a kind of desperation to know her, to find her amongst all of the distractions around us, but sometimes it's hard. It takes time alone with her, and that's not something I get in lavish, indulgent amounts. I can steal it, but then I'm robbing her Mom, who gets even less time alone with her than I do. All the time I had with her this summer and yet still, not enough. This summer I too often forgot about what time I had, choosing to complain about the heat more than absorb every hour. I'll regret that someday, I think.

When it's just us, it feels like old friends attending to long lost curiosities and affections, and we lean on each other as though we were climbing mountains. I catch her when she tumbles and when I try to steer her free from harm she dismisses the attention without malice. She's nineteen months old now and can do it by herself, she reminds me. Sometimes, even in the least magical of places, her complete satisfaction with the meaningless moment puts a lump in my throat. Then there are times when her imagination makes islands out of clouds and puts tigers in trees and what I wouldn't give to believe in things that way again. At the end of those days, as she reads in my lap, and rubs her eyes with tired, I whisper to her how someday, when I'm old and tired, I'll remember that bounce in her step, and how her hand reached up for mine, and that tiger in the tree will make me smile and I will miss her.

And then there are days, like today, where I feel robbed, when Zoey would rather be with her Mom and when my efforts are met with an odd kind of isolation, like that feeling of standing on the outside of a group of friends with whom you belong but don't fit... or like getting picked last for the baseball game. You'll live, and it's only just a moment in time, and one that will fade from memory, as if it never, ever happened, but it feels badly when it does. Days like today can make a man mush. Like when she tells her mother that she loves her and wraps her arms around her neck, but she still won't tolerate my teasing, or accept my kisses. She's nineteen months old, I know, and fickle. She's unreasonable and without explanation, I tell myself, but there I am, in a flash of familiarity, leaning on the fence just hoping I get picked, when I'd much rather be looking for tigers in trees.

These Sundays are long.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home