Day Ten: The Wrap Up

Over the years I’ve learned to keep my thoughts and feelings quiet. That’s probably why this blog has been so dreadfully boring for the past few years. I’m not as open as I used to be and getting me to react to anything is hard because I’ve built myself up to be as stable and reliable as I can. I’m not a person to make a fuss or have a fuss be made about, so the past ten days you’ve had a rare look into my life and hopefully you haven’t run as far and as fast away as you can.

I have people who are dear to me. I don’t tell them that very often. I realize that when I try, I tend to screw things up so it’s better to just let them go about their lives without knowing. It’s just easier and being a ghost can serve to get me in and out of situations easily at the expense of actually having a life or, really, a future beyond sitting behind a computer screen at my job for the next few years.

Having Jesy here changed my pace quite a bit. It’s different when you have responsibility for someone else. In a way I can see how there are so many dead beat dads out there. Kids just cramp what they want from their lives and they’re doing their best to avoid growing up and taking responsibility for their actions. In this me, me, me society, it’s hard to have a life centered around ME when you have those pesky kids around dragging you down.

That’s apparently not me, though, and I noticed a total change in the way people react to me when I had him around and I was showing an interest in making sure he was okay or helping him out in new situations. At the airport today, for example, we were waiting in line for security and a pretty girl complimented him on the custom “Loki Charms” t-shirt he was wearing. He stammered a bit and when she asked him where he got it, he went blank and I stepped in, got him to talk to the girl and the three of us had a nice little chat. That’s not me, you know, I tend to be a geek and avoid people in crowds but he was struggling and needed help and I did what I could. When the conversation was over he said, “Finally, Jim does something good not to embarrass me!”

Saturday when we were in line at Wegman’s, he was being a space cadet in line when he was buying himself Sushi and a soda. I helped him count his money and again, prodded him when he got tongue tied around the cute cashier. The cashier immediately opened up to both of us, asked him about the Amish themed post cards we were getting, then told us where in town they hang out (apparently we’re going to the Famer’s Market next time he comes out — and he’ll probably search for that cashier there). Normally, I would have been in and out of there without a conversation, just saying “have a good day” at the end of the transaction. Having him there and showing that I was active in his life seemed to change the situation and I don’t know if that’s a sad commentary on our society when people seemed surprised that a guy (or an over grown geek) would be helping out or taking part in a kid’s life.

I got used to him and I got used to it. I’ll admit it. After the initial couple of days of shock and getting into a groove where we could just relax and have fun, it was a nice change of pace. This morning I got sappy, I never tend to get sappy, because he was leaving and I was going to have to face going back to the way life normally is. The time just moved by so quickly and it seemed like even in the brattiest times for both of us it was in fast forward. I miss him and it’s kind of weird to be here without him fighting over going to bed or making sure he’s okay.

I had him out because I made a promise to him that we’d see Gettysburg. One thing that you have to know is that I do everything I can to keep my promises. Sure, there’s been lapses, sure, there’s been promises that I’ve forgotten about but I do my best to keep the ones I can especially the kids.

The secondary idea to this trip was to see if I could do it. I know, ten days with Jesy isn’t anywhere near like being a real parent, but it’s as close as I can get in this stage of life. I didn’t freak out too badly, I handled the difficult situations without turning him over to my mother (and yes, she was here as a safety net if I needed it). I went through the same experiences people have every day with kids and hopefully, I returned him to his mother on the same level of screwed up as I got him. Am I now going to go out and find a relationship so I can be super dad or anything life changing like that?  Come on, this is ME we’re talking about. Though it’s good to know that I didn’t run when presented the challenge.

No tears at the airport. Jesy made it home long before I did since mother insisted on driving and took every back route she could in order to… I don’t know, be mother. I forgot to put the Schwan’s order in when we got home and I landed face first in bed for a good four hours where Romeo made sure he was touching me for the entire time I was in bed. It was heart warming until the little bastard ran off to be a brat the moment I got up and fed him.

Yeah, life is getting back to normal.

I hope you’ve had a good ten days.

Jim