No, this post isn’t about 50 Shades of Grey. Although maybe it should be. Maybe if I wrote terrible prose about vapid people leading meaningless lives my writing would be more successful. Maybe if I overused cliches and misused adjectives and wrote about flat, one-dimensional characters I could be an overnight success. Sadly, it’s not gonna happen. But I digress.
This post is about something much less “shocking” but much more important to me: my daughter’s relationship with her Daddy.
David worked from home on Friday and had yesterday off, so we spent four solid days all together as a family. David took Addie up to the park several times and the two of them played together. We went out to breakfast together, we went to parties together, we took endless walks in the wagon together. And by the end of the weekend, Adeline was Daddy’s girl, through and through.
She wanted him to take her out for walks. She wanted him to help put her to bed, to put on her jammies and read her stories. She followed him around and cried if he had to leave to go to the store or even the bathroom. She gave him kisses all the time.
But this morning he went back to work. He’s been busy lately, meaning he often doesn’t get home before she goes to bed. So he sees her very briefly in the morning and that’s it. By the end of a week like that, she’s upset with Daddy.
When he first comes home, she’s ecstatic. She screams in joy and wants to be held. But then she pulls back. She remembers that she’s upset with Daddy and she punishes him. She won’t let him hold her and certainly won’t give him any kisses. She gets confused and frustrated: she wants to hug her Daddy but she also wants to show him that he should be home more. So she cries and he feels hurt and it’s just a big mess.
If we’re lucky, he doesn’t have to work too much over the weekend and they get a lot of quality Daddy and Addie time in. By Sunday night she’s Daddy’s girl again. Then Monday morning it starts all over.
I watch this all happening, week after week, and I wish there was something I could do to make it better. I watch the two most important people in my life both hurting and I think, something has to change. Maybe as she gets older she’ll understand that Daddy works so hard so that she has everything she needs in life. But maybe she won’t. I miss David when he works a lot, but I’m so incredibly grateful for what he does for us and I know that he does it out of love. But I don’t know if a child can feel the same way. And that scares me.