Party of One

A life of extremes folks, that’s me. One minute I’m whinging about the non-stop craziness of being a new parent and the next I’m sitting quietly on a Wednesday night trying to remember the last time I ate vegetables (are mushrooms a vegetable?). Yep, I’m home alone.

Button and I have been keeping each other company for the last week and a half while Maggie is up north visiting her parents and showing Casey off to the Dongbei inlaws.

It’s surreal and far too quiet.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s sweet having so much “me” time and not having to change diapers or sweat out reasons why “he just wont stop crying.” But it’s too quiet.

I didn’t realize how much the regular household noises of Maggie and Casey going about their day had ingrained themselves into my sense of normal. Maggie asked me a few times before she left if I’d be alright while she was gone and I jokingly quipped that I survived more than a quarter of a century without her. But the truth is, life is different now, and that has made me different now.

What I mean to say isn’t that I’m falling to pieces or anything (potatoes are definitely vegetables, right?), I’m certainly capable of taking care of myself. However, when you’re with someone day in and day out you start to develop routines, both physical and mental, that cause you to catch yourself in odd situations when that routine is disrupted.

You realize that laughing at a sitcom alone doesn’t have the same sense of fulfillment as doing so with someone else. Likewise, despite loving to cook, I find it a chore to cook anything more than basic sustenance when I don’t have someone to share it with.

But then I guess that’s the point. If nothing else, having this chunk of time apart is extremely refreshing; not (just) for the endless hours I can now put into playing Civ V uninterrupted, but because it’s reminded me how lucky I am to have such an incredible wife and kid. In all the chaos of finding our parental footing over the last six months, the reason behind it all somewhat understandably got shuffled to the back of the deck. Being apart from both of them has given me the time to pause and reflect on how important they are to me, and how dim and vegetable-less my life would be without them.

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