The Scene: My house, a couple of months ago
Great Guy: There’s a 10-day trip to Africa in August. I’d like to go if my boss gives the ok.
Me: Africa? Um, ok. But that’s far. And long.
Great Guy: It has to do with feeding starving people.
Me: Oh. Starving people you say? Gosh. Yeah, we need to feed them. (hopes that boss nixes the idea)
Great Guy: Boss said yes! I’m going to Africa!
Me: Yay! (whimpers)
So, um, yeah. My husband? Is going to Africa? For ten days? Starting on Saturday.
I’m hyperventilating just writing that.
That’s ten days of me being the only person to get C out of bed, get him fed, get him dressed, get me dressed, get him to school, get me to work, work, get C from school, get C home, get him fed, get him bathed, get him into bed, That’s 10 days of me working non-stop from 6am to 9pm and dealing with a child who will probably really, really, REALLY want to see his daddy.
When will I eat? And bathe myself? When will I blog??????
I know ten days is not the long stretch in Afghanistan that Kate from MommyLand’s husband did recently. Nor is it the year in Korea that Amber at Airing My Dirty Laundry’s husband is facing. But for me? It’s a big deal.
I live in perpetual awe of single parents. How do you do it? How do you stay creative and engaged? How do you play the role of Kisser of All Boo-boos, Answerer of All Questions, Reader of All Stories, Giver of All Hugs? How do you manage if something goes wrong? What if the toilets back up or the car doesn’t start or the kids get sick or, worse, you get sick but the kids don’t?
I’m calling for back up while my husband is away. I’ve got my parents coming in for a few days and I’m starting line up playdates to distract from the glaring absence of Daddy that we’ll soon be facing. I’m getting daddy to tape some videos that we can watch and I’m looking into Skype (Do they have Skype in Africa?). But it’s not going to be easy. When I told C that Mimi and Pop-pop were coming while Daddy goes away he burst into tears, ordered Daddy to not go and declared that he didn’t want to see Mimi and Pop-pop. Clearly, this is going to be challenging.
And then there’s the part where I’m really going to be missing my husband myself. Life isn’t nearly as much fun when I’m watching MSNBC at work and hearing all about Brett Favre retiring again and can’t joke about it with him. And who will I talk to about the implications on the corn processing industry from findings that cancer cells replicate using fructose? Because I’d be willing to bet if I tried to blog about that sort of thing, you all would run far, far away.
I really don’t want him to go to Africa. It scares me. I’m afraid he’ll get malaria or there’ll be a violent uprising or he’ll eat some really nasty unwashed fruit and get sick from it.
I want him to learn how to enhance the programs that feed starving people. And so does he. And that’s why I married him.