Staying Home with Hazel

(2 min read)

These past 2 weeks have been totally different. Molly’s out traveling through the jungles of Japan with Evaline, our oldest, and I’ve been single-parenting Hazel, our youngest. I stayed home so that Molly and Evs could travel without a clock, without having to draw lines around the day, which seems to be a requirement when you have a toddler who needs naps, snacks, and attention, attention, attention, even when there’s something life-changing to see out there in the jungle.

So it’s been up at 5:30, write some good stuff, find the beautiful place, then on to daddyhood – pull the babe out of the crib, out of the pajamas, tell the right jokes, ward off the tears, eat cereal, play the where-are-my-shoes game (but not for too long), and all the other stuff a daddy must do if he’s to be a dad on a normal day before work.

One thing to mention: I generally do this stuff anyway, just not 7 days a week. Big difference, as I’ve learned. Lots of things have been pushed aside – work and otherwise. I’m behind in a lot of regards, but I’m doing the thing I should be doing.

And while you may feel this is an effort to get some sympathy from you, to get a pat on the back for a job well done, for being a good dad, a martyr… well, I guess that’s what I may have been looking for when it started, but something has happened in these 2 weeks.

We ate yogurt on our cereal instead of milk. We didn’t watch TV in the mornings. We discovered the fun of laying on our backs and keeping a balloon in the air. We broke out her old plastic car-stroller and zoomed around corners on 2 wheels. We ate slowly and we danced with friends in the basement.

I noticed just how much she likes to sit back and observe the world. In her tantrums, I watched stubbornness turn to perseverance. Through her play, I saw into her mind.

There is a burning truth that sears into you when you spend hours and hours and hours with another person, uninterrupted. It’s like prayer, like holding humanity against a flame and distilling it down to a single molecule.

And in this shared time, replete with the full spectrum of emotions, pressed down by the weight of two sparring routines trying to fit into each other, there is an irreversible fusion that occurs which defies Science and common sense, where each person comes away with a little more of the other and a little more of themselves.

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