Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Home Alone Pt. II

Well they've gone and done it again. 

My family just up and left me. So here I sit, stranded. A man on an island with only his thoughts to keep him company. 

Pictured: Loneliness avoidance tool.
Alternate Use: Work avoidance tool. 
I've been here before and, admittedly, maybe it's not so bad. But, there is no question one is left feeling forsaken, if not bereft of sweetness and light when the family goes away. The stark contrast between bustling homestead when the wife and boy are home as compared to the solemn solitude of singularity is jarring folks. 

You can't go from the chatter of baby babble, of a mother who sings to her child at least once an hour to a home immersed in silence and not feel a bit cast away. 

But it's amazing how quickly one can attempt to adjust. 

Yesterday Master Blackwell and the Mrs. were off to my in-laws home, a half-day's drive south of us. The day started out like any other but when I arrived home the silence awaited me. 

Not only silence but darkness. All the curtains were drawn and all the lights turned off. I quickly opened the curtains and flipped a few lights on to lessen the loneliness before taking a seat on the couch to begin consider my options. 

I could be productive by going for a jog, or perhaps do the dishes. We've got a few bald spots on the lawn, perhaps I could go lay down some grass seed and water our dying potted plants. 

I decided to think on it for a while. And, while I thought about it, I might as well eat something. Cheddar cheese seasoned potato chips sound good. And perhaps something sweet to follow up the salty? An ice cream sandwich perhaps? Sounds good. Two ice cream sandwiches? Sounds better. 

And of course, one can't eat and consider one's options without the accompaniment of television. So, why not turn it on while I figured out? "Why not?" indeed. 

At this point anyone who has ever read this blog (or ever talked to a man) knows exactly where this is going. I can only thank whatever shred of restraint I have that prevents me from descending into a slovenly, ill-kept slacker while the wife and boy are home.
While my belly isn't quite this formidable (yet), this is an
otherwise accurate portrayal of my plight.

Without it, life would be different. Mrs. Blackwell would probably have a lot of questions and second guesses about her taste in men and the boy (when he's able to recognize how far daddy can slide in a matter of hours) would probably ask for the first ticket to a boarding school that admits toddlers.

It ain't pretty folks. But, in a way, it might be necessary. The work of being a father and husband can make one start to feel like bit of a martyr. 

"Oh all the sacrifices we dads make! The heavy lifting we do. The bugs we kill. The lawns we mow. The yard waste we dispose of. The trash we collect and take out — every week no less!" 

Most wives can attest that we men are a tad more disposed to feeling like we've done "sooo much" while being completely oblivious to the sacrifices of others.

It's good to be reminded of the very real benefits we husbands and fathers realize from this arrangement. Not the least of which is that, without one's wife and child, it's no certainty you'd be scaling new heights of personal accomplishment (or even showering regularly for that matter).

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