The Heavy

I went to update this blog and, for one full second, could not remember its name.  A signal, perhaps, that I should post more frequently get more sleep.  At any rate, before my memory lapse, I set out to post about how sucky it is not to be the fun parent.

I am the heavy.  I am the reason there is no sugar cereal and very limited TV.  I am the reason for a reasonable bedtime, a quick bathtime, and "For God's sake, calm down", "Sit down when you eat", and "I didn't hear 'please'".  I am the one who insists on sweaters and mittens, and stainless steel bottles filled with water.  That gross organic peanut butter you have to stir the oil into?  Yep.  Greg's a Skippy man--the organic health food stuffed in our cupboards is all my doing.

I know they love me.  This is not a bid to hear that, or reassurances of how I hold their world together, blah, blah, blah.  Got it.  Believe it.  But: there is no denying the light in Buzzy's eyes when they fall on her father.  Her spirit lifts.  Even Rosie is under his spell: craning her neck to spot him when she hears heavy footsteps and calling everything "Dada."  His secret?  When he is around them, he is in their world completely.  No eye on the clock or stove, no fingers itching to log on to Facebook. 

He's been swamped at work and hasn't seen the children awake for a while.  We visited him downtown for a half hour today, as he ducked out of the conference room for some fresh air.  I had thought that Buzzy had been having a good day--we'd snuggled, we'd read, she'd danced and colored.  But, when she saw Greg standing outside his building, glee overtook her.  On our block-long walk to grab a milkshake, she clung to his hand.  At Potbelly's, she climbed on his lap.  When it was time to say good-bye, she pitched a temper tantrum on the sidewalk, "No, Daddy! Don't go back!  Don't go to your trial!" [Point of clarification: he's a lawyer preparing to go to court, he's not actually on trial himself.]

On the car ride home, I tried.  "Ooooh, look!  A crane!  I wonder what they're building?"

"Something sad."

I tried again.  "I spy, with with my little eye, something pink."

She retorted,  "Well, I spy with my sad eye something sad."

Okay, fine.  I channeled my inner Mister Rogers.  "It's okay to feel sad, honey.  It's hard to miss Daddy."  I let her wallow in it for the rest of the ride.  And then, even though I really had to go to the bathroom, I stopped at the park on the way home.  Her mood improved as she mucked around in the damp sand.  We managed to have a decent dinner and bedtime, but I didn't light the gleam in her eye.  The magic in her day was contained to that stolen half hour with Daddy.

Mommies are supposed to be calm and wise and unflappable.  They are not supposed to say "suck" outside of the context of nursing.  But, she's asleep, and I am tired, and let me just tell you that, sometimes, being the heavy really does.


  1. Elizabeth,
    This is the first time I have read your blog. It is wonderful. I forgot how creative you are from our law school days. A great writer and mother. I definitely feel what you are saying here. Same way in our house but it is probably the perfect combination. Wait until they turn 7 or so and start saying "Why do the other kids get to . . ." Good luck!

  2. Michelle, thanks so much for reading and your kind words. I think law school squeezed any creativity out of me for a while...unless you count my many innovative ways to avoid studying. :) Glad to hear the parenting balance helps when they get older. Yikes!

  3. Dear Elizabeth, I couldn't help but thinking three things when I read this:

    First, I am sure something about you being a 5 and Greg being a 7 has something to do with this:)

    Second, you are a brilliant writer, I love reading your posts. Please write write write.

    Third, this does suck. Totally. On the other hand, its really nice that they have a dad who is so present when he can be, and who they really like. That is worth a Billion dollars. Not a cent less. But, your role is irreplaceable, incalculable in value.

    Your only job is to feel what your feeling. And today it sucks!


What do you think? Comment here!