Him: My kids and roommates are gone for the next 24 hours… Granted, the last time my kids were gone one of them got a bloody nose and I hda to go pick them up.
Me: Don’t worry, I know about adventures with kids.
I am the oldest of four. I’m 12 years older than the youngest. I take care of my 97 year old grandmother. Having my plans abruptly change because of someone is not a foreign concept to me. Just because I don’t have my own kids, doesn’t mean I don’t get it.
What I don’t get is how so many parents are so surprised that I get it.
Let’s just call it a gift and leave it at that, ok?
Sooo… after enjoying a mellow morning and some much needed Taka Taka Time, the phone finally connected to the kids. And, those kids were around the corner. (!!!)
After a 45-second scramble and freakout, it became evident that “escape” was not an option.
I was then instructed to sit on the couch while he handled the situation.
Unfortunately for him (and luckily for me), the kids weren’t staying; 6 minutes later, they were gone. Of course he was upset. And I had no idea what my role was in that moment. Sharing café is not the same thing as sharing a seriously difficult life moment. How do you offer comfort and support to a friend when the line of friendship was never all that clear to begin with? I offered a hug, he got up and put a table between us. I asked if he wanted to talk about it, he said no. I (sort of) offered to leave and he said I didn’t have to.
So I sat quietly and waited.
After a few minutes, he started talking and I just listened. Because, really, there is nothing one can say. No words offer comfort. It is just a hard moment. The best part about hard moments is that they always pass. So once the initial shock and pain were passing, the laughing about the absurdity of me attempting to escape started, “We’ll have to come up with an escape route for you for next time… just in case.”
I knew he was kidding, but the girl in me only heard “next time.”
AHA! He plans on doing this again! (Really, why wouldn’t he?)
Once we were sitting on the couch again, he asked what I thought about him going to check on the other kid, because he was worried.
I told him I didn’t know his situation well enough to offer an opinion yet.
Him: Yet? HA! So, once you do, you’ll tell me? You’re so honest! It’s rad.
Obviously, I’m not the only one who only hears one word.